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Home Remedies For Toothache By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

By Dr Siddharth Gupta +2 more

Introduction: 

Do you experience frequent discomfort during eating and drinking? Do you have frequent unexplained headaches? Do your gums throb, or your mouth feels sore and tender? If yes, you might have a tooth problem that requires proper attention. A toothache is a pain you might feel in/around a tooth. Toothache happens when the pulp (soft nerves) inside the tooth gets irritated or infected by bacteria causing an abscess (pus) around a tooth. If the reasons leading to toothache are mild and treatable at home, a dental visit might not be required. On the other hand, dental pain caused by gum inflammation and tooth decay that won’t subside with home remedies require a doctor’s attention. 1,2 


Toothache occurs due to poor dental hygiene or may be triggered by various other factors. In few cases, it could be due to the grinding of teeth or other dental trauma.2  

Sometimes toothache might be unbearable and might keep you awake at night. Therefore, we bring few home remedies for toothache, which you can easily try. So, keep reading to find natural solutions for toothache. 

Did you know?

  • Toothaches have negative impacts on quality of life, including interference with mood, sleeping, eating, and occupational and social functioning. source:Ncbi
  • Toothache pain is often described as severe and can have a significant impact on daily functioning. source:Ncbi
  • Toothache sufferers are less likely to report impacts on daily functioning compared to those with backache or earache. source:Ncbi

What Causes the Toothache: 

A toothache may be caused due to several reasons. The most common ones include: 

  • Tooth decay 
  • Inflammed gums 
  • Dental abscess 
  • Referred pain from ear 
  • Sinus infection 
  • Physical injury or trauma to a tooth 
  • Physical injury involving the jaw or face 
  • Erupting tooth in children 
  • Eruption of wisdom tooth 
  • Wear and tear in teeth due to age, tobacco chewing, nail-biting, etc 
  • Night grinding 

Getting dental checkups at least once a year is recommended for maintaining healthy tooth and gums.If you have a toothache which doesn’t resolve on its own in a couple of days and is possibly associated with swelling, bleeding gums and ear ache on the same side of the tooth, you should surely pay a visit to a dentist.To get resolved at the earliest.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Tooth Decay

Symptoms of Toothache: 

The symptoms of a toothache may be recognised as 

  • Swelling around the tooth 
  • Sharp or throbbing pain while chewing  
  • Foul-tasting drainage from infected teeth 
  • Headache or fever 
  • Bad odour from the mouth.1 

In extreme conditions, people might have trouble breathing and swallowing along with pain.1 

Also Read: Home Remedies For Sensitive Teeth By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Home Remedies for the Toothache: 

We have a few home remedies for toothache that might help relieve the pain temporarily. You can try these natural home remedies for toothache and choose the one that is suitable for you. 

1. Coconut 

Coconut roots may have beneficial properties such as antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant actions. Coconut flour contains lauric acid, which may have an anticaries effect (may stop tooth decay) by reducing the bacterial plaque and biofilm.3  

Coconut root can be boiled with water and used as a mouth rinse. Coconut root mouth rinse might be one of the home remedies for toothache and tooth sensitivity. A decoction made from coconut tree bark might be used as mouthwash and gargle to provide relief against toothache.3 

2. Clove 

Cloves are a popular food spice found in every Indian and Chinese kitchen. It has been used to fight tooth decay and bad breath. Clove may have antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that numb the pain and reduce inflammation. The essential oil extracted from cloves is called eugenol, which has been widely used in dentistry as cavity liner, pulp dressing and dry socket dressing.1,3 

Clove oil might be one of the best natural home remedies for toothache, oral ulcers and gum pain. To use clove oil as a gargle, add a few drops of clove oil to a cup of water and swish for 15-20 seconds in your mouth. You may also directly apply clove paste to a painful tooth.1,3   

To make clove paste, take a small mixing bowl and crush some cloves using a few drops of water to prepare a thick paste. Then, apply this paste to the affected teeth directly or indirectly using a cotton ball. 

3. Avocado pear 

Avocado pear may have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties against various bacteria and fungi. The seeds of avocado might be beneficial for toothache. To use avocado seeds, crush and boil them in water and use this solution as a mouth rinse. It might help you to reduce the pain and mouth sores.3  

4. Garlic 

Garlic is one of the highly favoured food spices. It has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. It has a strong aromatic smell and unique taste. It may have beneficial properties such as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. These properties of garlic might be useful for managing dental plaque microflora. Garlic may cause burning sensation; avoid using excess and you can drink plenty of milk to overcome the burning sensation or use honey to suppress the malodour of garlic.3 

The paste of garlic may be beneficial for toothache. Take 2-3 garlic bulbs with a pinch of salt and crush them in a bowl to make a paste. Garlic paste may be directly applied to the affected tooth to provide instant relief. 

5. Bitter leaf 

Bitter leaf, commonly known as Tej Patta, is also called Indian Bay Leaf. It is used as a green vegetable and as a spice in soup. It may be used as a home remedy for toothache by acting as a soothing agent. The leaf is directly applied to the affected tooth. Scientific evidence shows bitter leaf extract may have anthelmintic, antiprotozoal and antibacterial properties.3  

6. Papaya 

Papaya seed, pulp and latex (a white liquid) may be beneficial for toothache. Papaya may have bacteriostatic (stops the growth of bacteria) activities against mouth bacteria. The latex of papaya may have antifungal properties. The white latex of papaya may have beneficial properties against toothache.3 

The paste of papaya roots might be a beneficial home remedy for toothache. Papaya paste is made by crushing papaya roots with a few drops of water. Papaya pulp or latex can be substituted for papaya roots. This paste can be applied to the affected tooth(teeth) as and when needed. 

7. Guava 

Guava leaves and bark have a long history in the indigenous systems of medicine. The leave extract of guava may have antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Decoction prepared from guava root and leaves may be used for toothache.3 

8. Toothache tree (Spilanthes africana) 

Spilanthes africana is known as the toothache tree. It has a pleasant peppermint taste and has antipyretic, anticancer, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities and might be used for instant relief of toothache. It can be applied directly to the affected tooth (teeth) or used as a mouthwash. It might also be helpful in minor fractures of teeth when applied directly to the cavity.3 

Though studies show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies for toothache, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken cautiously and never as a substitute for medical treatment. 

The results of the various studies have shown that aqueous extract of clove has analgesic effect which is reversible by naloxone. The role of opioid system in the analgesic effect of clove might be suggested.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Home Remedies For Teeth Whitening By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

When to Seek Medical Help:  

You must take immediate medical attention if you have experienced one or more of the following:  

  • Toothache with low-intensity but continuous pain lasting longer than one to two days. 
  • Toothache with high-intensity pain 
  • Pain while opening mouth  
  • Fever  
  • Earache.2 

Please note the dentist is the right person to consult for any dental problems.2 You should always consult a dentist or qualified doctor for advice for your toothaches if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies. 

Also Read: Soothing Nutrition: Best Foods To Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Conclusion: 

A toothache is a disabling pain that occurs in and around the tooth area in the mouth. It can be in the form of dental cavities, tooth nerve trauma, bacterial infection, or abscess. Minor gum irritation might be managed at home with a few herbs, whereas severe toothache needs medical attention. Herbs useful to provide relief from toothache include garlic, clove oil, guava, papaya, bitter leaf, coconut, sweet potato, avocado pear, eucalyptus, vanilla extract and peppermint tea, etc. However, if the condition worsens, consult a dentist to avoid further complications. 

Also Read: Simple Home Remedies For Swollen Gums

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How to use garlic for a toothache? 

Garlic may be one of the beneficial home remedies for toothache. It contains a compound called allicin and might have antimicrobial activity. To use garlic for toothache, you may crush a few garlic cloves to make a paste out of it and directly apply it to the affected tooth to reduce the toothache.1 People should not rely on garlic for managing toothache; taking doctors’ advice is essential. 

How to use eucalyptus for a toothache? 

Eucalyptus might be beneficial if used as a mouthwash gargle to manage toothaches. The essential oils from the leaves of eucalyptus may have antimicrobial activities, which might be beneficial for reducing oral cavities.3 However, even after trying the eucalyptus at home, the toothache doesn’t go away; make an appointment with your dentist and seek medical attention. 

What are the other names for a toothache? 

The alternate names for toothache are teeth pain or tooth pain.2 

What precautionary measures need to be considered for a toothache? 

Toothaches result from tooth decay; therefore, good oral hygiene practices might be a preventive measure to avoid toothache problems. Regular brushing of teeth, proper flossing at least once a day and dentist appointments twice a year for professional cleaning of teeth are a few preventive measures. Apart from this, eating foods low in sugar might also help reduce toothaches.1 

What questions to expect when you visit a dentist’s office? 

A dentist might ask you the following questions- 
> When did your toothache start? 
> Where is the pain located? 
> What things give you relief and make the pain worse? 
> How severe your toothache gets?  
> When was your last dental check-up? 
> Does the pain make you stay awake at night?  
> What medicines are you taking?  
> Do you have any other symptoms?  
> Have you had any injuries? 1,2 

Also Read: Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth? Unraveling the Mystery with Science

References: 

1. Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Toothache: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention. 2021 [cited 2022 Jul 12]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache 

2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Toothaches. 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 12]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003067.htm 

3. Ashu Agbor M, Naidoo S. Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by Traditional Healers to Treat Oral Health Problems in Cameroon. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015(649832):1–10. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606091/pdf/ECAM2015-649832.pdf 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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