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Home remedies for toothache

The Egyptians wore amulets; the Aztecs chewed on hot chilies and the Ancient Greeks drank donkey milk – curing toothache has been one of our biggest struggles since time immemorial. We know the pain can be crippling, so we’ve come up with a handy guide to the most effective home cures for toothache while you wait for your dental appointment.

But what exactly causes toothache?

Home Remedies for Toothache

Common causes

If you experience toothache for more than a day or two, you should book an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to determine the exact source of the pain, but here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A cavity
  • A loose filling
  • A cracked tooth
  • Dental abscess
  • An infection at the root of a tooth

You could also be suffering from blocked sinuses, which cause toothache. If in doubt, check with your doctor.

How can I ease the pain?

  • Clove oil: Put two drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and dab it gently on your tooth. Clove oil contains eugenol, which works as a natural anaesthetic for the pain and will disinfect the area too.
  • Salt Water: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of boiling water, let it cool and then swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds. It reduces gum swelling by drawing out excess fluid and cleanses the affected area.
  • Ice Cube: Place an ice cube or two in a plastic bag, wrap a thin cloth around it, and press it against your cheek, over the painful tooth, for about 15 minutes to numb the nerves.
  • Painkillers: If the pain becomes too unbearable, you can always take an analgesic such as ibuprofen.

While these remedies can be effective as temporary measures, they don’t address the root cause of the problem. Be sure to book an appointment with your dentist as you may be able prevent further decay and tooth loss.


Put two drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and dab it on the aching tooth for quick relief.

Home Remedies for Toothache

Your Oral Care Questions

Find helpful advice on your oral health concerns in our guides created by Pepsodent, the family dental expert