Ease a Toothache

Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Pia Marie Villamante, Nerissa Avisado and 3 others


Toothache may not be a life-threatening condition, but it can be incapacitating. Who can work or study with a throbbing tooth in the mouth? You feel the exposed nerves pulsating with pain that slowly creeps to your nerves to the head so that soon you can feel intense headache or migraine. The excruciating pain can make you irritable and lose your classes or work. How can you attend to your life's daily chores when a throbbing tooth can hinder your ability to do the usual - eat, speak, sleep, drink, etc.

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Nothing beats having a healthy mouth that you can keep by following a dental hygiene routine, balanced diet and exercise. But, if in case cavities and pain still persists, know that there are so many ways to ease a toothache. You can start with safe and inexpensive first line of defense. There are also remedies you can find in your kitchen, garden and cupboards. When the worse takes for the worst, your dentist will tell you your options.

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With many dental procedures these days, you are guaranteed to smile beautifully again. This will cost heftily. This is why it is still best to be religious about seeing the dentist regularly and maintaining a healthy dental regime.

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What Causes Toothaches?

While tooth decay is often the primary cause of a toothache, it's important for you to have a complete oral examination to determine the cause. Other causes of a toothache can include the following:

  1. 1
    Tooth decay.
    This is also known as tooth cavities. This refers to the rotting of the surface of a tooth. This is one of the common oral problems recognized as the primary cause of toothache.
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  2. 2
    Tooth Fracture.
    This refers to the accidental breaking of the tooth. This can exposed the nerves and thus cause excruciating pain.
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  3. 3
    This is a gum inflammation due to bacteria growing inside the mouth cavity. This is a common mild form of gum disease with symptoms such as redness and swelling of your gums and irritation. Untreated, it can lead to other more serious gum and dental problems.
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  4. 4
    Grinding of teeth or bruxism.
    This refers to the clenching of the teeth especially during sleep. It is said to be caused by excessive stress, tension, frustration or fear. With chronic bruxism, dental problems like fractured, loosened, or loss of teeth can happen. Unabated, the 'grinder' may wear down the teeth to stumps. It may also lead to damaged jaws, hearing loss, and, at worse, TMD/TMJ (temporomandibular disorders/ temporomandibular joint).
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  5. 5
    Abscessed tooth.
    This is a painful infection at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and the gum. This is most commonly triggered by having cavities that lead to severe tooth decay. In severe cases, the infection may spread to the bones supporting the tooth.
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Toothache Symptoms

  • Serious , chronic pain on the tooth
  • High fever and chills in advanced cases of infection
  • Bad breath.
  • Swelling and redness around the affected tooth
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing especially if infection has spread
  • Biting problem.
  • Experiencing headaches.

Easy does it: Alleviating Toothache

  1. 1
    Clean up the mouth.
    1. Use warm water. Rinsing with water would not let the pain go, but it could remove any unwanted particles lodged between the teeth.
    2. Better yet, gargle using natural mouthwash or bottled commercial antibacterial mouth rinse.
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  2. 2
    Clean what's in between with dental floss.
    In the same way that rinsing with water removes unwanted particles between your teeth, so does flossing. This is especially useful when the food stuck in between your teeth cannot just be removed by simple brushing or gargle. It also helps prevent microbial build-up in between teeth, gum diseases and cavity. Do this once a day.
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  3. 3
    Use ice pack or cold water.
    Use it as a cold compress. It can numb the area to immediately ease the pain. You can fill a food storage bag with ice or a bottle with chilled liquid inside.  
    1. Apply it directly on the cheek area just outside the throbbing tooth or cover the ice bag it with a thin cloth or paper towel if it is too cold for you.
    2. Never apply the ice directly to the aching tooth as most tooth and inflamed gums are sensitive because of exposed nerves.
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  4. 4
    Other numbing options.
    An alternative to cold compress is an over-the-counter tooth and gum-numbing gel. The numbing effect can effectively aid in easing the excruciating pain for at least a few hours. These are topical gels that you can apply directly to the painful area.
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  5. 5
    Use OTC pain relievers.
    You could take an NSAID (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) such as mefenamic acid, ibuprofen, paracetamol, or aspirin.  
    1. To prevent overdose or developing dependency, stick to the recommended dosage prescribed by your dentist or what is printed on the package.
    2. It is also important to take an NSAID only when you can't stand the pain anymore. In the long run, it is best to
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Natural Ways to Ease Toothache

  1. 1
    The Stinking Garlic.
    This kitchen spice is known for its antiseptic property. It can arrest the proliferation of bacteria that is causing the infection.  
    1. Make sure to crush the garlic to release its active component called allicin.
    2. You can make a blend with some salt before applying it directly on the affected tooth to assuage the pain.
    3. An alternative is to chew it, but only when you can stand the spice, taste and aroma in your mouth.
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  2. 2
    Pepper and Salt.
    These two kitchen staples can be combined when the tooth is extremely sensitive.  
    1. Add a few drops to a mixture of pepper and common salt forming a paste.
    2. You can apply the mixed paste directly on the throbbing tooth.
    3. For better results, let it sit for a while. You can repeat the process for several days.
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  3. 3
    Cry No More with Onion.
    Onions or Allium cepa is a relative of garlic, which means it has also the active ingredient allicin that renders its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It addresses toothache by killing the microbes causing the infection.  
    1. Raw onion is easier to chew.
    2. You can chew a small piece when you notice the first signs of a toothache.
    3. If you are unable to take the taste, put a small piece of raw onion on the affected tooth or gum.
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  4. 4
    Best "Home Remedy' Cloves.
    Cloves are touted for its fantastic antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anesthetic properties. These help in alleviating both pain and infection.  
    1. Grind two cloves, and mix it in a little olive oil or any vegetable oil.
    2. Now apply this solution on the affected tooth.
    3. You can also chew on a clove or two until you feel the juice in your mouth.
    4. Rubbing clove oil directly on the painful tooth should help ease the pain.
    5. Alternatively, you can mix a few drops of clove oil in half a glass of water and use it as a mouth rinse.
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  5. 5
    Another Stinking Spice called Asafetida.
    The stink is a testimony of its amazing properties. It is known to be a potent remedy for dental problems such as toothaches and bleeding gums. It is derived from several species of Ferula, a perennial herb.  
    1. You can prepare a mixture by adding a pinch of its powdered form to lemon juice.
    2. Warm it a little. With a cotton pad apply the solution on the bad tooth. This helps provide quick relief from the pain.
    3. Another way of preparing asafetida is by frying it in clarified butter before putting it in the tooth cavity.
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  6. 6
    The Briny Mouthwash.
    Gargling with saline/briny solution can offer relief by cleaning the oral cavity and fighting the proliferating microbes in your mouth.  
    1. This is warm salt water that you can prepare mixing half a spoon of table salt in a glass of warm water. Use this as a mouthwash.
    2. You can make this a regular mouthwash if you like natural cleansing. If your mouth has sores, just hold the solution in your mouth cavity before spitting it out.
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  7. 7
    Yarrow Leaves.
    Chewing on fresh yarrow leaves or getting its root extracts and applying it on the affected tooth and gums can temporarily relieve pain and treat bleeding gums.
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  8. 8
    Versatile Sage.
    This herb has been used to treat many ailments diseases for centuries. One of its many applications is the usage on toothache.  
    1. You can add sage leaves in boiling water.
    2. Let it steep for 15 minutes.
    3. Let it cool before trying to sip it like tea.
    4. Another way is by putting the herb directly on the aching tooth and gums.
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  9. 9
    Speedy Turmeric.
    This is a wonderful natural treatment that helps in relieving the discomfort of a sensitive tooth. It works fast and it prevents the discomfort from coming back.  
    1. Combine a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a small amount of water to make a rich paste.
    2. Apply this on the throbbing tooth.
    3. For best results do this twice during the day.
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  10. 10
    Easy tea.
    Placing a hot tea bag against the aching tooth helps diminish the pain level right away. It is something that almost every home has and it is also an easy step to do.
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  11. 11
    Guava is as Good as Spinach.
    Guava leaves are noted for its antimicrobial or bactericidal properties. This is why it can alleviate toothache. Spinach leaves make a good substitute to the guava leaves.  
    1. You can opt to chew one or two young guava leaves until the sap/juice starts to work on the throbbing tooth.
    2. You can also boil water with four to five guava leaves. Add salt, cool the solution and use it as a mouthwash.
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  12. 12
    Healthy Wheatgrass Juice.
    Do you know that wheatgrass has a lot of nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is known for its natural antibacterial properties that can aid in relieving toothache and in fighting tooth decay.  
    1. You can use it like a mouthwash too. Get the wheatgrass juice or extract and use rinse the mouth. It can absorb toxins in the gums slow down the growth of bacteria, and rein in infection.
    2. If you are in a hurry, chew on wheatgrass directly.
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Other Household Remedies

Your home is stocked up with a lot of staples that you can use to ease your dental problems if you know which to use when. Here are some more ideas:

  1. 1
    This mouthwash is chemically prepared for the mouth. Use this product by swishing it a little longer on those areas where the problematic tooth is. It can momentarily relieve the ache because this product has analgesic effects.
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  2. 2
    Colgate or any sticky toothpaste.
    Another dental product, it can be used to stabilize a loose crown by gluing it together temporarily.
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  3. 3
    Smirnoff Vodka.
    If you want to numb the pain, you can use any liquor around the house like the Smirnoff Vodka that is generally 70 proof (35% alcohol). Its alcohol content can even go as high as 50%. Take a shot and swish it around the aching tooth.
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  4. 4
    Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel.
    Make a mouthwash or rinse by combining one teaspoon of Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel and one cup of water. Use it like a mouthwash or mouth rinse. This will soothe the aching tooth and gums.
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  5. 5
    Pain numbing Popsicle.
    Sucking on a Popsicle is a delicious way of numbing the area.
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  6. 6
    Make ice with Ziploc.
    Make ice using these freezer bags. These will be a handy way to have ice in the house during emergencies. If it feels too cold for you, wrap it up in a cloth or towel and place it over the painful area.
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  7. 7
    More than heat with Tabasco Pepper Sauce.
    Dabbing a bit of this chili sauce on your bad tooth can fantastically relieve the pain you can feel in your tooth.
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  8. 8
    Heady McCormick Vanilla Extract.
    Use it like Tabasco. Get a swab of cotton, saturate it with the Vanilla Extract, and dab on the sore spot. It is the alcohol in it that will dull the throbbing pain.
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Seek Professional Help


If you have missed dental appointments before, it is high time to call a dentist and ask for an appointment. There are times when just providing temporary solutions to ease toothache will not be enough. If the pain is triggered a dental cavity, tooth decay or gum infection, the discomfort will not go away on its own. In fact, you need not wain for serious dental problem s to set in and get worse. If you observe certain sensitivities in your teeth, it is important to see a dentist right away.

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For severely damaged teeth, expect any of these medical treatments for your dentist.

  1. 1
    Get your cavity filled.
    A tooth cavity that is exposing the nerves of your teeth can be very excruciating. Just before the nerve gets exposed, your dentist can decide to put a temporary or permanent filling to the nerves from getting stimulated.
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  2. 2
    Kill the nerves by root canal.
    Avoid getting dental infection because a dental abscess, can damage the pulp of the tooth. If the tooth's nerves have sufficiently been exposed, simply filling the cavity cannot remove the pain anymore. It may take a root canal to eliminate the pain. This means killing the nerves through a painful procedure. Your mouth is numbed with a local anesthesia before the root canal
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  3. 3
    Let go of the tooth.
    When the tooth is beyond repair, the last resource to get the problematic tooth extracted. This procedure is common among young kids to remove their baby/milk teeth to give way to a permanent set. Anesthesia is also injected during extraction especially in the case of molars. These teeth are generally replaced by dentures or veneers in adults for aesthetic and practical reasons.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Brush your teeth regularly. Prevent the development of cavities through a healthy oral hygiene. This starts and is the best way to avoid toothaches.
    • Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day.
    • It is even better if you would brush after every meal.
  • Use mouthwash. This is optional but it is indeed a good way to kill the microorganisms in your mouth that can cause cavities and build-up of acids that weakens your teeth. It is also effective in preventing bad breath that is caused by bacteria in your mouth.
  • Choose what you eat. Avoid eating hard foods like nuts and apples especially when the gums are inflamed.
  • Apply meds rather than ingest it. Crush a Tablet of aspirin or pierce liquid NSAID. Instead of taking it orally, apply it directly on the cavity of the tooth throbbing with pain. It can instantly ease your discomfort.
  • Visit your dentist. You should visit your dentist regularly to ensure the health of your teeth. These visits usually entail prophylactic cleaning and treatments that will arrest early signs of dental and oral problems.
  • Herbal side effects. While herbs are touted as safe or there are no discernible side effects to its use, it is always important to exercise caution particularly if pregnant, breastfeeding, and elderly or has other medical conditions.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Dental Care

Recent edits by: Alma, Eng, Nerissa Avisado

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