12 Home Remedies For Emergency Dental Toothaches

Man with emergency toothache holding his cheek

Some toothaches can cause severe pain, which is often the result of tooth decay. However, a dental emergency, including a cracked or broken tooth, can also cause extreme discomfort, and you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Still, sometimes you’re unable to see a dentist immediately, or a toothache presents itself in the middle of the night. In that case, you may need to turn to some home remedies until you can be seen by a professional. Our dentists share some things you can do to manage emergency toothache pain.

Have a toothache? We can help. Contact our team today and get the relief you need.

What Are the Best Home Toothache Remedies?

While you’re waiting to see an emergency dentist at a nearby dental clinic, there are some home remedies for emergency toothache relief that you can try. Some health experts recommend1:

1. Toothache Medicine

Several over-the-counter toothache painkillers may help to temporarily relieve swelling, mouth pain, gum pain, or other issues associated with your teeth. Some of these may include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Medicated gels and drops

Always check with a medical professional or dentist first to determine the best course of action and what medication is best for your specific needs and conditions.

2. Saltwater Rinse

A saltwater rinse is a fast and effective way to disinfect and decrease inflammation in the mouth. Saltwater can loosen food particles or dirt that may be stuck in the affected area after a dental emergency. Saltwater can also promote wound healing and pain relief.

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of mildly warm water
  • Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds
  • Repeat a few times throughout the day

3. Rinsing With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has the ability to relieve pain, decrease inflammation, kill bacteria, and promote healing. However, you have to be sure to dilute the peroxide. According to Medical News Today2, try:

  • Use a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts warm water
  • Swish the mixture in your mouth for thirty seconds
  • Spit out rinse
  • Follow with a warm rinse of freshwater

The taste of hydrogen peroxide is not always pleasant, so a rinse with water or mouthwash may be helpful to get rid of the remaining aftertaste.

4. Peppermint Tea Bag Compress

Peppermint leaves for wisdom tooth pain or toothache

If your gums are irritated and painful after a dental emergency, you can use a peppermint tea bag as a warm or cold compress. Here’s how to make a compress:

Warm Compress

  • Soak the tea bag in warm water
  • Apply it to the affected area for five to ten minutes
  • Be careful not to burn yourself

Cold Compress

  • Place the peppermint tea bag into a glass of water
  • Place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
  • Squeeze excess liquid out of the teabag
  • Hold it on the affected tooth for 15 minutes at a time

Peppermint also has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help bring relief to painful teeth or gums.

Don’t wait to see an emergency dentist! Contact Absolute Dental to see one of our professionals right away.

5. Garlic

Garlic functions as a natural antibacterial agent, but it also reduces pain. Here’s how to make a soothing garlic paste:

  • Take a fresh clove of garlic and mash it up
  • Apply the paste to the affected area
  • Leave it there for ten to fifteen minutes
  • Rinse with mouthwash to reduce garlic taste and breath

Garlic can also leave a strong aftertaste. Simply rinse with water or mouthwash to reduce the taste or smell.

6. Ice Pack Cold Compress

The goal of applying something cold to your toothache is to decrease inflammation and numb that area so you feel less pain. To effectively use an ice pack:

  • Remove the ice pack from the freezer
  • Wrap the pack in a washcloth or paper towel (do not apply directly to the skin)
  • Apply to the affected area for ten minutes at a time
  • Repeat throughout the day for 24 to 48 hours

It’s good to keep a cold compress ready to use in your freezer for an emergency such as tooth pain or other dental injuries.

7. Clove Oil

Clove oil for toothache

Clove oil can be an effective and powerful toothache plant-based remedy. It can reduce pain and inflammation, thanks to natural eugenol.

  • Dilute the clove oil with a carrier oil
  • Use a mixture of 15 drops of clove oil with one ounce of carrier oil3
  • Apply to the affected area throughout the day

8. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla itself has antioxidants that can help heal a toothache, but most vanilla extracts contain alcohol. That alcohol can be used to numb the pain that you’re experiencing. A couple of drops is all you need.

9. Thyme Oil

Thyme essential oil contains thymol, which has antiseptic and antifungal properties. There are two ways to use thyme oil:

  1. Add one drop of thyme oil to a glass of water to create an oral rinse that you can use multiple times throughout the day.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in your thyme oil mixture and apply that to your toothache for fifteen minutes at a time.

10. Aloe Vera

Aloe has antibacterial qualities that can help destroy germs that lead to tooth decay. If you have aloe vera gel in your home, massage a little onto your affected tooth and gums using a cotton swab.

A persistent toothache could be a sign of something serious. Schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today.

11. Guava Leaves

The leaves of the guava plant have potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Some people even report using guava leaves to heal wounds faster. If you can obtain some fresh guava leaves, there are two ways they may be able to ease toothache pain:

  1. Chew them using the side of your mouth that has the toothache
  2. Crush the leaves, add them to warm water, and create an oral rinse

12. Wheatgrass Mouthwash

Many people add wheatgrass to their smoothies or juices each day, so you might already have some in your home. Wheatgrass is beneficial because it is said to decrease inflammation, fight off bacteria, and boost immunity. You can use wheatgrass to create an oral mouthwash if you’re experiencing an emergency toothache.

See a Dentist As Soon As Possible After a Dental Emergency

Close up of patient having dental session

While many of these home toothache remedies can provide you with temporary relief from your pain, you should always seek the attention of a dentist if your toothache persists.

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact Absolute Dental now! You do not need an appointment to see our emergency dentist. It’s vital that you rule out any serious issues that could put your health at risk.


1Mayo Clinic. (8 June 2018). Toothache: First Aid. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
2DePietro, M. (8 January 2019). Gargling hydrogen peroxide: Benefits and how-to. Medical News Today. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
3Barrel, A. (15 July 2021). The Best Carrier Oils for Essential Oils. Medical News Today. Retrieved 30 March 2022.

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