How to Temporarily Relieve a Toothache Until You Can See a Dentist

You have an excruciating toothache and can’t get in to see the dentist soon enough – what do you do in the meantime? Don’t worry; you can temporarily relieve a toothache using items you likely have lying around your home.

Of course, if a toothache arises, you’ll want to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. But the pain in your teeth can radiate into your jaw, cheek, and ears, and maybe even induce a headache or fever. No matter your pain level, you want to take steps to reduce it right away.

Keep reading to learn what might have caused this and what you should do to relieve a toothache temporarily.

Causes of a Toothache

If you have pain around your tooth or jaw, you’re experiencing a toothache. When there’s inflammation in the nerve – which is in the root portion below your tooth – it results in pain and discomfort to tell you that something is off.

Often the reason for a toothache is that tooth decay has reached the pulp of the tooth. Other causes include:

  • Gum disease
  • Teeth that are pulled, infected, fractured or damaged by trauma
  • A compromised filling
  • TMJ issues
  • Sinus infections

Toothaches can stem from an actual infection in the teeth or even other parts of your head where the pain is seeping down into your teeth. No matter the cause, the pain can be irritating.

10 Ways to Relieve a Toothache

Here are a few natural ways to ease your discomfort while awaiting your dentist appointment.

1. Baking Soda

When you have a toothache, the first thing you want to do is try to reduce any swelling. 

Baking soda has anti-inflammatory properties that can go to work on relieving your tooth infection.

Simply moisten a cotton ball with water and cover it with baking soda. Place the cotton ball on the area to temporarily relieve a toothache. Or try mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with warm water and swish it around as a mouth rinse.

2. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling – or swishing therapy – is an efficient way to treat several oral problems, like infections, gingivitis, and bleeding gums. It’s suggested to swish with coconut oil because it contains both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

For best results, do this first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten or drank anything. You’ll swish about one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes – yes, 20 minutes – before spitting it out. Then, rinse with warm water and brush your teeth. Do this twice a day to relieve a toothache.

3. Clove Oil

Clove is an excellent essential oil for relieving any dental pain. It contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic that’s great for numbing nerves. But because of its potency, you have to be careful with how you use it.

Avoid pouring the oil directly onto the affected area. Instead, place a couple of drops onto a cotton ball and put it on your tooth. Or you can add a drop of clove essential oil to your oil pulling routine. Use this oil about three or four times a day.

4. Ginger-Cayenne Combo

Because of its ability to reduce swelling and inflammation, ginger can be an immediate pain reliever. Cayenne also works well because its main chemical component, capsaicin, can help keep messages of pain from reaching your brain.

Make a paste of these two pain relievers. Mix one teaspoon of powdered ginger with water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Swish a cotton ball around in the paste to cover it, and apply the cotton ball to your tooth.

Leave the cotton ball on your tooth for a few minutes. Be careful to keep it on your tooth only as this combo can irritate the gums.

5. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is another potent essential oil that can temporarily relieve a toothache. With antiseptic and analgesic properties, oregano oil is effective in reducing pain and swelling. It’s known for its chemical makeup that kills bacteria responsible for causing pain.

Use a Q-tip to apply oregano oil to your tooth. You don’t need much oregano oil for it to be effective.

6. Olive Oil

Phenolic compounds give olive oil anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce your pain and swelling. Dip a cotton ball in olive oil and place it over your tooth a few times a day.

7. Onion

While the idea of sucking on a raw onion might not sound appetizing, your teeth will thank you. Onions can kill germs responsible for causing a toothache, and they can help relieve your pain.

Place a small piece of onion over your tooth for a few minutes twice a day. The onion will attack the germs allowing you to relieve your toothache.


8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can penetrate into your gums and help numb your nerves causing your toothache. Add tea tree oil to a glass of water and use it as a mouth rinse a few times a day to relieve a toothache.

9. Sip Some Tea

Tannins in tea can help reduce swelling and pain. Peppermint tea especially both tastes good and provides pain relief.

Steep one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water for about twenty minutes. When the tea has cooled, swish it around in your mouth. The smell of peppermint is also a helpful remedy if your toothache has radiated into a headache.

You can also place a wet tea bag over your tooth for pain relief. Try one of these tea remedies once or twice a day to relieve a toothache.

10. Cinnamon and Honey

Make a paste out of cinnamon and honey to relieve a toothache. Use one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with five teaspoons of honey, and apply the paste directly onto your tooth. Apply small amounts a few times a day as pain persists.

See Your Dentist

Try any of these natural remedies to relieve a toothache temporarily, but call your dentist right away. Until you can get in, avoid chewing on the affected side of the mouth. Limit use of extreme hot or cold on your tooth as well.

Are you looking for a dentist in Escondido? Check out the Smile Gallery. If you are scheduling your first visit, we are happy to give you an hour of our time free of charge. Contact us for your free consultation!