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Believe it or not, there are actually very few home remedies for toothache that actually work. The most effective way to manage a toothache really is to address the cause of the pain, but when that isn’t possible, there are a few coping mechanisms you can try out, to help you get through the night, or at least until you can get a dental appointment. At Top Health Dental we’re pleased to offer our patients assistance with a dental emergency. Should you require an emergency dentist, please contact our practice.


It’s the middle of the night and you need a toothache remedy because your dentist is closed until the morning. You wish you could just sleep through it but your gums are swollen, your head is throbbing and the pain your mouth just won’t let up. Maybe you’ve tried pain medication, or maybe you’re trying to avoid it. Whatever your position is, the good news, is there are some alternatives that could bring you some welcome relief. Just remember: the pain relief is a temporary solution, until you can get your tooth checked out by a dentist, which is probably going to be a few hours away at most. These remedies will not solve the cause of the problem; they will just help you to survive until your dentist can help you.


Our Top Home Remedies For Toothache


Cold compresses and elevation

You’ll probably be surprised at just how much difference an ice pack or cold compress and elevating your head can make to your toothache. If your toothache presents with swelling, an ice pack or cold compress held to the outside of your face can help to reduce swelling and numb the area temporarily. Be warned though – you shouldn’t hold the compress directly on your gum.

Keeping your head elevated can also make a difference to a pounding or throbbing head, because it prevents the blood from pooling in you head (it’s also often why toothache strikes in the middle of the night, when your head is buried in your pillow).

Also, it may bring you enough relief to catch a few hours of sleep until morning.

Salt water rinses as a toothache remedy

Gentle rinsing with salt water can help to keep your mouth clean and remove any debris that might be causing irritation. It can also draw out any excess fluid that might be retained as swelling.

Add a teaspoon of salt or two to a cup of warm water and allow it to dissolve before moving it around your mouth gently. Use warm water if your mouth is temperature sensitive, and make sure you don’t swallow the mixture. 


Clove oil as a toothache remedy

Clove oil acts as a numbing agent, and can be applied to a piece of cotton and rubbed gently to the painful area for pain relief. It doesn’t taste great and the effect may not last for very long, so it really is a temporary solution until you can visit your dentist for a solution. Don’t have any clove oil on hand? Don’t worry, chew on a whole clove or two to release the natural oils.


When To Get To The Emergency Room

In the event that your toothache is accompanied by a fever or excruciating pain, and you cannot see your dentist, you may need to go to the emergency room of your closest clinic. It is possible that you may have an abscess (which is a dental emergency) and may need immediate assistance if your toothache is accompanied by fever or  your condition deteriorates very rapidly. 


What’s Causing Your Toothache?

Tooth pain is a symptom of an underlying problem that needs to be evaluated by your dentist. Toothache is most commonly caused by dental decay but it may also be the result of an abscess, gum disease, impaction of the wisdom teeth or be caused by teeth grinding. Any persistent toothache should be reported to your dentist as soon as possible. 

Do you have a toothache because your filling has come out? Use a bit of sugar-free, softened chewing gum to hold it in place until you can get to the dentist.

Remember that untreated tooth decay, gum disease or abscesses will only get worse over time and develop more serious problems that are more complex and costly to address. Early intervention is always a good idea. Visits to your dentist every six months can help to spot the early signs of tooth decay or recommend older dental fillings that might need replacing.


Have you been using home remedies for toothache and now need an emergency dentist? We’d love to assist you: (02) 8776 3232.