20+ Toothache Remedies For Pain Relief

If there’s one list to keep handy–this is the one. It never fails that a major toothache hits when it’s late at night and the dentist’s office is closed. Although only a doctor can definitively determine and cure the source of the problem, the following list of treatments & pain relief remedies should get you through the night until a professional can be visited.

SpoonI have plenty of helpful items listed, most are everyday, commonplace ingredients so there’s sure to be at least one or two in the pantry or spice cabinet available to be utilized immediately.

Important: Whether you are experiencing dull discomfort or a severe ache, there is a reason for it and it’s best to have it taken care of by a dentist as soon as possible. If it’s infected (gum area is swollen and/or face feels hot), don’t delay in getting professional medical care. These tips are merely intended to assist a person trying to get through a short period (day or two) until a professional can check things out.

Directions: Apply selected treatment directly to both the problematic tooth and surrounding sore gums unless otherwise directed.

Items instructed to chew or liquids to be swooshed around inside mouth, do so with the sore tooth and focus on surrounding area.

Take Care: Do not swallow liquids, spit out when done.

Master List of Home Remedies

  1. Salt Solution: Mix a heaping spoonful of salt in a small glass of water, swoosh around for as long as possible, spit out. Repeat at least twice.
  2. Cloves: An old timer’s remedy, rest a clove against the sore tooth until agony dissipates. Alternative: A drop or two of clove oil (careful, too much may be toxic) or make a thick paste of ground cloves and water or ground cloves and olive oil.
  3. Alcohol: Swoosh a bit of whiskey, scotch, brandy or vodka. A strong mouthwash containing alcohol can do the trick too.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide: Swoosh a bit of hydrogen peroxide. If the taste is too horrid, try diluting by adding a titch of water.
  5. Vanilla Extract: Saturate a cotton ball, hold in place. May also use a cotton swab dipped in extract.
  6. Almond Extract: Same method of treatment as with Vanilla (above).
  7. Peppermint Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above).
  8. Lemon Extract: Same as with Vanilla (above).
  9. Tea Tree Oil: Just a drop or two is all that’s needed. Also add some to a cotton swab and hold in place or add a few drops of tea tree to a small glass of water and swoosh around.
  10. Oil Of Oregano: Combine a few drops with olive oil (or water if preferred) and use to saturate a cotton ball.
  11. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball and keep in place. Regular household vinegar works too.
  12. Ginger Root: Take a fresh chunk of ginger and carefully chew a bit (remember to focus on the sore tooth).
  13. Garlic: Take a clove of garlic, smash it and apply (settle inside cheek). Alternative: Mix in some salt.
  14. Peppermint Leaves: Chew on fresh peppermint leaves. Also try dried, just keep them in place.
  15. Potato: Cut a raw chunk of potato (skin off) and hold in place. Can also pound a piece of raw potato, mix in a pinch of salt and use the mash.
  16. Lime: Cut a slice or wedge of lime and apply, bite into it if possible to release some of the juice. Sensitive to cold? First bring the lime to room temperature if it was refrigerated.
  17. Onion: Slice a piece of raw onion and tuck inside cheek. The onion needs to be freshly cut (so it provides a bit of onion juice).
  18. Cucumber: Slice a piece of cucumber and hold over the sore area. If refrigerated, bring the cucumber to room temperature first (if sensitive to cold) otherwise a cool piece may be soothing. You may also incorporate a pinch of salt.
  19. Plantain: Chew up a fresh plantain leaf. If too sore to chew, switch to the other side of mouth. Once the leaf is macerated a bit apply to the troubled area and hold in place.
  20. Cayenne Pepper: Make a paste with cayenne pepper and water, use mixture to pack the area (including gum).
  21. Black Pepper: Use full strength or make a mix of pepper and salt.
  22. Baking Soda: Take a cotton swab and moisten with water, dip in baking soda (coat the swab really well with baking soda) then apply. Alternative: Make a rinse/solution by mixing a heaping spoonful of baking soda in a small glass of water, dissolve the soda then swish the mixture.
  23. Tea: Make a fresh cup of tea then take the used tea bag and tuck inside cheek. Careful not to tear the bag. The tannins naturally found in tea leaves can aid in numbing things.
  24. Ice Pack: Cover an ice pack with a face cloth or towel then settle over cheek where the problem is. Will help numb things. If that doesn’t work, do the opposite–a hot compress (not too hot that skin is burned).


  • If the discomfort is unbearable and there’s no dental office open, call the local hospital’s emergency room–chances are they have a dentist on call (for a fee).
  • Try gently brushing teeth and flossing–this might bring some relief.
  • If the side of the face is in anguish and it feels like you’re going to lose your mind (I’ve been there)–it could be a sinus infection or an allergy affecting sinuses rather than a dental issue (even though it definitely feels like it). Try a Herbal Decongestant Steam to break up sinuses, this might relieve things enough until getting to a doctor. Chances are a prescription for penicillin is what’s needed to clear up the infection.

Something I found that worked in the above, very painful, severe situation the last time it happened to me (I’ve had three occurrences so far):

  • Swoosh cool or room temperature water in mouth where the trouble is. Keep the liquid there as long as possible.
  • Once the throbbing starts again, spit out and replenish with a fresh mouthful of fluid.
  • Spit out and repeat as often as necessary.

I had to do this for about 4 hours straight one night until the dental office opened in the morning. The hurt was an unbearable, unspeakable, nerve pain. This was the only thing preserving my sanity, giving immediate and fast relief–unfortunately it lasts for only moments at a time. I ended up having a molar pulled but only after a round of antibiotics and a few days taking prescription pain killers. I’m not actually clear on what the problem was in that particular case, I think it was an abscess…I was in serious distress at the time and couldn’t see my usual dentist but I’m confident in the care I received.

What’s In My Medicine Cabinet: I now stock a box each of Extra Strength Anbesol (topical Anesthetic) and Maximum Strength Orajel in the medicine cabinet at all times. The brands aren’t what matters, both have 20% Benzocaine Gel and I found the ingredient helps dull this type of extreme nerve pain in the beginning stages before it blows up and you have to keep water in your mouth the entire time. It would also help relieve discomfort from an abscess in the advanced stages. If it’s 3 AM and nothing on the home remedies list above will work, running to a 24 HR Pharmacy is *well worth the effort* to go out driving to pick this up. They merely provide temporary relief, but there’s something about dental pain that is so intense and causes such severe distress that anything even minimally removing or easing the ache just a little bit is welcome.

I hope this information is beneficial and a quick cure is discovered that works to bring the discomfort to a halt, but please don’t ignore the issue and get to a dentist as soon as possible. Home remedies can help through the night, but problematic teeth and gums only get worse if ignored. Good luck!

Note: These are simply notes I have collected, they are not professional medical advice.

**Updated: Removed aspirin tips in case the warnings weren’t clear enough for some, better to be safe than sorry!

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    • anon

    Unorthodox, but miracle cure..

    The webbed skin between your thumb and index finger where it forms a V. Take an ice cube and apply and rub the ice cube on this area for about 3-5 minutes, you will gradually notice the pain in your tooth start to subside!

    • Debbie

    Am in extreme pain right now with a toothache on the left upper side. I’ve been putting off going to the dentist. No vanilla extract in the house so I just swished with mouth wash which seems to have helped. The pain has lessened considerabley. I’m also taking acetaminophen. Maximum strength Orajel doesn’t really help. Just anxious to get to the morning to go to the dentist and have this sucker pulled!

    • Krys

    the tea bag method worked! thanks for the tip πŸ™‚

    • Melissa

    My husband woke up in terrible pain from a tooth that has been giving him problems for months. When a grown man crys u know its hurting BAD!! We tried orajel, salt water, etc. Nothing seemed to work!! That’s when I found this web site!! I read all the reviews and we decided to try the vanilla extract and almost instantly the pain was gone!! He is finally sleeping since its 4am and he’s been up all night with this toothache!! Thank The Lord for this website and vanilla extract!!!! Orajel $6.00 a tube, vanilla extract PRICELESS!!

    • Greg

    Came home to visit my 83 year mother, who i found in lots of pain. Gave her a couple q tips and the vanilla extract… five mins later she was 100% better. She does not take any medicines easily, so the fact that the vanilla is a natural product, she was open to apply generously. ha ha 10/29/2012

    • Teresa

    Hello! I was in pain and i took a hydrocodone, but it seem to have made it worse, or either it took too long to kick in, but anyway i hate taking pills, i didnt have any extracts from what i’ve read they are the best, but i did try the apple cider vinegar..it helped a lot and fast too! you are a life saver!!! Thanks you!!!

    • Tin

    THANK YOU! I’ve been up since 11pm (it’s 4am now) and have almost taken the risk of overdosing myself with mefanamic acid (no ibuprofen at this hour) and have tried ice and warm water with salt and even coating the entire teeth and gum area with Pyralvex to no avail. I think I’ve ran out tears and have even whimpered pathetically with hopes of sleep.. Till I read your post. I rushed to the cupboard and found vanilla extract from good ol’ McCormick and it DID WORK! The throbbing and mind blowing pain receded instantly! It’s the holidays and my dentist is off work but I think I can catch a li’l bit of sleep now.. Just a li’l pain in my tummy from the pills I took but it’s a walk in the park compared to the toothache I had awhile ago. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    • sweets

    thank you soo much for the remedies but only clove oil worked and had to keep on applyin every hour or the pain would come back

    • faith

    I tried olive leaf extract before reading this post. It seems to help with some pain and has antioxidants. So you get immune support at the same time. Wouldn’t suggest for long term use.

    • Kaitlyn

    I was crying for about an hour with the worst intense pain ever. Omg the extract worked. Thanks so much

    • Katie

    Had horrendous toothache for 3 days now! been putting off going to the dentist,but had the out of hours number ready tonight just incase….tried the lemon extract and i gotta say, it worked, !! wasnt expecting it too tbh…the pain hasnt fully gone, but its alot less intense than it was!

    • Kellymarie

    After having very bad toothache for 4 days and affraid to go to the dentist , i tryed paracetamol , bonjela but nothing worked . My mother in law then brought me a small bottle of clove oil and within seconds of putting it on my tooth a few seconds later and instant relife πŸ™‚ just to make sure i have a decent night sleep i also peeled a clove of garlic and bit into it and swallowed the oil ( not the best tasting ) but deffo works πŸ™‚

    • Ashley

    Thank you soo much! This was very helpful! I’ve been in excruciating pain all day w/ this tooth. Usually Aleve helps..but not this time :/ I just tried the apple cider vinegar and I thought it helped for a second, but I think I was wrong lol. The pepper and salt seemed to help a bit, and the garlic really really took the edge off! What a life saver :)I also just tumbled on hand reflexology (thank u pinterest) and it says that on the inside of your hand, middle finger, under the knuckle area, left side of the finger…is for upper tooth pain, and right side is for lower…sounds crazy but it worked instantly!! Good luck and thanks again!!

    • Traci

    My daughter was suffering from a toothache tonight. While waiting for Ibuprofin to work, she tried salt water and mouthwash. They helped a little, but she was still at a 9 for pain. I talked her into trying garlic. We were both relieved and surprised that it worked!

    • Maka

    How long do I have to hold the cotton ball of vanilla extract on my tooth ?

    • Meighan

    I’ve been up for the past 2 days with an excruciating tooth ache. every time I tried to sleep I would pass out for about 20-30 mins then wake up to intense throbbing in my tooth. I came upon this website like every other person suffering from a toothache in the wee hours of the morning and I tried the vanilla extract and it worked! it took the pain from 10 to 2-3. thank you soo much. I’m going to go to the store tomorrow and pick up some garlic just incase (:

    • Jonesy

    My tooth was hurting so. so bad that I wanted to chop my head off. My sister told me to rub anything I had for arthritis, on my jaw. I found some liniment
    in my medicine caninet and rubbed it on my jaw and OMG instant relief.

    • Jonesy

    A comment on using liniment or something for arthritis for you bad toothache, please make sure you rub it on the outside of your jaw, definitely not on the inside. I forgot to mention this.

    • Giselle

    Throbbing, deep pain. Applied vanilla took a bit of the pain away. Will try ice shortly. Will keep you posted.

    • dusty

    have tried everything still hurts

      • Advisor-ZIMBABWE

      The go for COCONUT OIL – (100% pure coconut if possible) – I was like to buy a bottle from a local Arabic shop but some Pharmacies also keep other brands of coconut oil. try to swoosh half. Teaspoon at time directly onto the affected area !!

    • Shannon

    I have been pacing the floor and screaming into a towel for two hours due to a tooth that very badly needs a root canal (which I can’t get untill my insurance resets in January). I took Ibuprofen and Acetametophin, even used Orajel and still had excruciating, throbbing pain. Tried the mouthwash, got instant relief! Thank you, now I might be able to get to sleep!!!

    • Antony

    Reading this makes me feel better!

    • Ajay

    Thanks Heaps! The Vanilla Extract brought the pain down πŸ™‚

    • jeffery

    wel,l guys have had my teeth pain for about 6 years cant afford the dentist and wanted to let u guys know my trick works well pain gone instantly i should know 3 shattered teeth all the way to the gums 5 other broken teeth well here it is EVOO[extra virgin olive oil] ,ground cinnamon, vinnila extract,vodka,lemon juice, not to bad on taste just mix togther and use it like mouth wash hope this helps

    • Alicia

    I’ve had Pure Vanilla Extract soaked on a cotton ball in my mouth for 10 minutes and the pain is going away! If the pain comes back I will be trying garlic next.

    Thank you so much!

    • Alyssa

    I’ve had some severe tooth pain the past few days- which is a nightmare, because I’m in college, and our finals are next week. In addition, I have a holiday mixer tonight, and definitely wanted to relieve some of the pain so I could focus. Being a college freshman, I don’t have quick dental access and have no money to spend trying various remedies. I’m limited to what’s in my dorm. So I mixed a tiny bit of spearmint rubbing alcohol with warm water, and swished it a few times. Instant relief! I feel better than I have in days, even taking Tylenol etc.

    • Kelly

    I have tried everything possible! Lost filing plus 2 molars broke down to the gum…I made hungarian potato soup tonight and added extra salt. The warm very soft potato pieces relieved some pain shockingly! I bought Sucret cough drops earlier today and sucked on 2 at a time every few hours for a small amount of relief. I’m also taking ACV capsules 2x a day and golden seal with echinacia incase any sinus infection is affecting the teeth. Also pseudophedrine. Thepain in my ear starts hurting then the teeth. So much pain!

    • Andrea

    Thanks so much! I’ve been having a wisdom tooth growing in and lately,it’s decide to wak me up to head pounding pain! Ibprofene doesnt work, Im too used to it. And tylenol is taking quite awhile to kick in and do anything. Oral Jel Liquid (which i found was strongest of them all previously) Didnt do anything, nor the Pm. I tried the vanilla extract,but it didnt work (I have artifical) so in desperation I tried swishing vodka around my mouth and I felt instant relief! There is still pain,but not as severe as before. Also, I’ve heard that Red Cross kills the nerve in the tooth (friend in the states told me that. Im in canada) but defenately will be trying the other remedies!

    • Donald

    Thanks apple cider viniger did the trick

    • Omar

    Tequila worked right now…

    • heatherfg

    My hubby first switched vodka, then applied a paste of pure vanilla extract and ground cloves. He said the relief was soooo quick! Thanks for the ideas:)

    • tonya

    I have a cap on my bottom right back tooth, went to er tonight they did blood test said everything blood whise is ok but it looks like i have a golf ball in my cheek, last week they removed upper right tooth I think infection is running around my mouth I’m on ampicillin 250 mg x 2 a day. I will tell you I wanted and have pulled my own tooth out with wire cutters years ago I understand the pain.when morphine, and opana and tran does not work you just want to die. So i had garlic lots of it I smooshed it on gauze with a cup to get the oil I swear on my sanity it worked also found chewing raw garlic helps to it burns like acid but I will put my life on it garlic works. THANK YOU ALL FOR THIS SITE MERRY CHRISTMAS !

    • Fiona

    Have had pain on and off for 2 weeks, but over Christmas, it started getting constant. I saw a dentist yesterday (27 of Dec) and my wisdom teeth are rotton and need to come out, no abcess luckily. Started on penacillan 500mg tds and suggested to take neurophen plus. (ibrufen and codeine) The pain got sevre in the evening, I tried everything including neurophen plus, panadol, mouthwash, flossing, fluriode. Nothing worked. At bedtime I again dosed up on pain killers, a sleeping tablet, a few swill of whiskey and went to bed, but 1.5 hrs later the pain was still keeping me awake. I swashed some whiskey with little effect.The pain ws sevre enough I was contimplating going to Emergency. I fell alseep on the couch in frount of the TV but the pain woke me up 10mins later. I then found this website, but unfortunatly my mother in law has no essence in her cuboard (just everything else. The apple cider vinger had little effect. Then I saw she had peppermint tea. So i made a cup (I hate the taste), but the warm/hot tea bag on the sore teeth) then once the bag was cold I drank the tea. I then lay down and prayed the pain would subside. Next thing I woke up 1.5 hrs later the pain was now bearable. I then went to bed and slept the rest of the night. Thank goodness I found this website!

    • Annelise

    THANK YOU! It is 2:20 am and I just tried chewing ginger, rinsing with bourbon and almond extract. Gross combination of flavors, but oh the sweet relief. I can go to sleep now.

    • terri

    so here i am on this website, because everyone was in the same position as i was about ten minutes ago. i was running around my house moaning so loud that even my neighbors heard me, i am sure! i hate toothaches. my husband is in the military – and still, no decent dental coverage that’ll allow me to get my back two teeth fixed. i have an exposed tooth, meaning, that the top of the tooth cracked and all of it fell out – except for the bottom half of my tooth which is still in my mouth. what worked for me was INSTANT – i took a piece of bread and chewed on it with that tooth, it shoots a HORRIBLE pain through your entire body [because of the exposed nerve] and as SOON as the pain shoots, you suck the piece of bread out of the hole in your tooth and BAM – relief. works like a charm every single time.

    the nerve in your tooth is to one side and is putting pressure on itself by sitting a certain way – hence why toothaches pop up out of nowhere. when you suck [just the tooth part, hard to explain, sort of suck on your cheek on the side that the tooth is on] it moves the nerve.

    oh, and prayer. definitely prayer. πŸ™‚

      • Marcus

      Yes, on both counts, 1. praying to God in the name of Jesus of Nazareth can change any negative into a positive.

      Also, 2. that bread thing has to work for just about any toothache for which the affected tooth is not sunk partly or completely into the gums. Just fold the bread and bite into it with the affected tooth. Most of the time this should bring instant relief. I think it allows you to reset from the continual pain.


      Cayenne powder works for all but the advanced toothaches or the toothaches that are heat sensitive. If your toothache hurts with heat, then forget about this one.

      Almond Extract works great and has to be the best tasting remedy(cherry) of the bunch.

      Equate PM Blue Pill(Extra Strength, I believe) used to use them for incredible toothache pain, but not sure if they still make them.

    • Stphen

    Oh thank you man, you helped me so much! Thanks again

    • lynne

    just had to confirm that vanilla extract is a miraculous fix…..was almost on my way to the hospital the pain was so bad……you definitely have to hold the cotton ball soaked in vanilla for five minutes so it gets into the hurting area….give it a try!!

    • Rebecca

    Tried the salt water it made it worse, orajel isnt working any more, Vanilla extract is doing the trick soooo far, ALSO before i found this site i sprayed my tooth with sore throat spray and it helps also!!! spit it out dont swallow it

    • george

    whoops!! i thought i was dead. my toothache was severely painful,but when i visited ur page,many thanx 2 u!! i have had my relief.the salt mixed with warm water sent me safely & soundly 2 ma bed.

    • Lindsay

    I’ve tried ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, ice, whiskey, warm salt water, oragel, numbing spray and a tea bag. I’m about to try mouthwash. That’s all of the things I have on me. πŸ™ This is killer.

    • solo samba

    VODKA…keep it in your mouth and slosh onto the problem area, literally hold in mouth for as long as poss (5-10 mins I managed) numbs and sooths x

    • Kaitlyn

    I have two broken molars with the nerve exposed. Only one of them is bothering, but I makes my hole mouth hurt. I’ve been in agony for days.

    no basic pain reliever helped at all. Not tylenol, advil, aleve.. none of it.
    Vicodin helped a little.

    Oralgel is a joke. And did nothing but make me drool…a lot.
    Ice helped slightly.

    I tried the vanilla extract and was finally able to sleep after two days.

    Now only two more 10 hour work days until I go to the dentist.
    Hopefully it continues to work until then.

    • Wendylove

    about to try sum of the remedies….. I pray it works….cos am really in pain.

    • Jon A.

    Wow! So many with such similar results…how is it possible not to have heard of these before…Vanilla Extract!!!! W/ Vodka W/ Tea Bag !!!! …IT WORKS GREAT!!!! THANK YOU!!! Now everyone go tell a friend!!!!

    • GogginsOrtega

    I can not stand for my love ones to be in pain as my husband flipped and flopped and I began to cry I around the internet on my phone and the Lord put us here! Sprinted to our kitchen for almond extract and thank you Holy trinity at 0731 I can attempt to lay next to my devine Husband as he finally sleeps like a baby!

    • sasha

    Feeling like taking a hammer to my Mouth! I tried all of the above and all i can say is god bless garlic

    • That Guy

    I put a plastic ice pack in my mouth. It is around my tooth. Tastes like crap but non- toxic. Cuttently treating right now. PaiN is gone. I just can’t sleep cause i have a 2 pound cold compress in my mouth.11,59 PM E.T. 01-20-2013 LoL’z

    • ShelliBelli


    • Cokema M.

    I have a broken left molar and I had it temporarily filled because I was pregnant. I planned to have the tooth removed after the baby was born, but due to me breastfeeding and my fear of meds being passed I never went. NOW, here I sit at 6:42 am and I was looking for a remedy to try while I find a doctor (just got married and moved from NY to NC). Looking at what a majority have mentioned (garlic, lemon/vanilla extract) I happened to only see maybe 2 suggestions for salt/pepper. I tried it and almost INSTANTLY the pain went away. All I did was wet my hand a little (I mean really little) and poured tabled salt and pepper on top. I dabbed my finger in the mixture and rubbed it all over the pain site and it WORKED!!! After freezing air, food, and drinks have been keeping me up with a terrible earache I can say this 1 little remedy WORKS.

    • karmen

    Woke up at 3:30 am with a throbbing toothache due to a cavity that’s been giving all kind of pain for days. finally after 3 different pain killers i went online and found this site. thank god and so grateful. i tried rinses and alcohol but didnt do it for me but i tried the extract of lemon and ginger root with warm tea within seconds relief and then after tea was done i chewed ginger pieces with lemon juice on them 2 hrs later an still relaxed and pain free. i can finally go back to sleep and its now 9:27 am. thanks for posting this.

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