10 Home Remedies for a Toothache

A toothache can cause serious pain. Though over-the-counter medications will ease the pain, and some people will choose to go to the dentist to diagnose or alleviate the issue, home remedies can help if you would rather try the natural route.

 Clove Oil

Cloves contain eugenol, a natural numbing agent. Using an eyedropper, squeeze one or two clove oil drops onto a cotton ball and apply it to the painful tooth for short-term relief. Try to keep it away from the tongue or other tissues in the mouth, however, as numbing these areas can be uncomfortable.

Peppermint Tea Bags

Peppermint has numbing capabilities, too. Wet tea bags can aid sensitive skin or the tissues surrounding an aching tooth. Apply a cooled tea bag directly to the throbbing spot or freeze the bag for a few minutes for numbing and cooling effects. Leave the bag in place for up to 20 minutes to get the most out of this remedy.

Salt Water Treatment

Just like a sore throat or canker sore, salt water can alleviate pain and may even help with healing, depending on what is causing the pain. Mix about a teaspoon of salt into a cup of water, and swish a mouthful around for about 30 seconds. Spit it out and repeat a couple of times. Salt water can also help rid the mouth of problematic bacteria and pus, and it is safe and natural.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Rinsing the mouth with hydrogen peroxide offers healing benefits as well as pain relief. Combine equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water and swish the mixture in your mouth for about 30 seconds. This remedy needs to be carried out with care, however, as it can be dangerous to swallow hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to add no less than an equal part of water to the peroxide — it’s not worth the risk to make a “stronger” solution.

Bourbon-Soaked Cotton Balls

Most alcohols have numbing properties, including bourbon. If you are of legal drinking age, try pouring some liquor onto a cotton ball and applying it to the sore tooth. It won’t help the underlying cause but can provide some pain relief. It goes without saying that this remedy should not be given to small children.


Garlic possesses antibiotic characteristics. It can stop bacteria from growing in the mouth and damaging a problematic tooth. Mash a clove of garlic, add a pinch of salt and apply this paste to the tooth. Doing this a couple of times a day will help ease infection in a tooth. If the pain is caused by something else, such as issues with the temporomandibular joint, however, this remedy will not be of much use.

Vanilla Extract

We already know alcohol is a numbing agent, and most vanilla extracts use alcohol to draw out the delicious flavor of this popular bean. Ease a toothache by dabbing a small amount on your finger and rubbing it on the sensitive area. Repeat this method two or three times each day for temporary relief. Use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla, which may not be as effective.


Onions have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Not only will these properties help ease the pain temporarily, but they can also kill infection-causing germs. Chewing raw onion or pressing a piece to the painful area can help relieve symptoms for a while, though not everyone can handle the intense taste.

Guava Leaves

Fresh guava leaves have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties, all of which can help relieve pain from a toothache. Chewing the leaves can ease pain, or they can be made into a mouthwash by boiling them with water and salt. Spinach leaves can have a similar effect.