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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    • april

    The baking soda only worked for me once but only for a little bit. I just tried swishing vanilla extract and so far it worked just hopes it stays that way.

    • AmberandCj

    My boyfriend was/is suffering from a terrible toothache and was crying because he was in so much pain. He told me to get him bread…and i did (confused), but he swears by it! He is no longer in pain. 🙂

      • StephieD

      Bread is working for me too…..been in pain for days, but this is really helping.

    • Andrea

    Thank you….. Tried the vanilla and the pain is much less…

    • Darcy

    Use mouthwash mixed with salt water & peroxide. It works!

    • Nicole

    Have had a toothache for the last couple days now and tried the vanilla extract on a cotton swab (didn’t have cotton balls) and it really worked! The pain almost brought me to tears and now it’s gone!! Thanks for the tips!

    • phil herrity

    Used the Almond Extract as mentioned above on a tooth which is decayed and waiting to have removed. Pain has been unbearable and upon applying (with a cotton wool bud)a slight throbbing then hey presto, pain gone! Thanks for the advice.

    • AG

    Vanilla worked for a few minutes on my child. A bowl of ice cream (in the middle of the night)really helped numb her sore tooth and she slept the rest of the night & went on to school.

    • Eric

    I’ve had a upper wisdom tooth that has been hurting for 2weeks now and I found a remedy that said to put toothpaste on the affected tooth and let it sit. Takes away all the pain almost instantly. Lasts for awhile to.

    • my

    Vodka was the cure…..it was the best

    • Rse

    Excellent Page, i had hard time with having pain, drinking water or having water around painful tooth used to give some time, just used to keep water in mouth for some time and spit it out. though it avoided pain, could not sleep whole as i was following this for full night.

    • Jason

    Just got desperate and hit the Internet to get through until a root canal tomorrow. Pain finally got unbearable and was having a hard time believing the vanilla extract could work that well. Didn’t care though and had to try. It actually relieved a good bit of the pain, along with swishing with a mouthwash with 10 percent alcohol. Hopefully the combo will get me through the night. Thank you all!

    • Jayson

    Couldn’t sleep for 3 hours…3 motrin, 4 liquid aleves, a warm washcloth, and letting Italian ice sit on my cracked tooth until it melted finally did the trick. Might be able to make it to work at. 6:30am…dentist is still the best way to go. Wish they were open 24 hrs lol

    • Taylor

    One hour till I am supposed to wake up and go to work except that I haven’t actually sleepy all night. Tried salty water, garlic, salt and pepper, ginger, alcohol and clove. Nothing is working so far. I’m going to get the vanilla extract when the shops open. Really hope it works 🙁

    • Autumn

    I am in so much pain, I have tried most of these to no relief, others I dont have in the house to try, are there any other remedies I can try? I really need to sleep…

    • Alyssa U

    Being five months pregnant not really all that much you can take to make pain go away. If it wasn’t for this site I think I would still be in tears. I did the tea one and it surprisingly worked. I will however try the vanilla extract if the pain comes back. Anyways thank you very much for your help, time for this mommy to get some rest.

    • CiscoKim

    Coconut oil…put a spoonful into mouth and let it melt, swishing it through sore area. Spit after 10 minutes. This can also be used preventativly… Before the pain begins… And then you don’t have to experience it. Very effective!

    • Erin

    I wonder why oil pulling has not made the list? I have used coconut oil for this, as it also helps whiten teeth over time… really truly. I have had terrible tooth pain. In fact, I don’t think any pain hurts more than tooth pain! My opinion of course, but it really is bad… So what I do is take a small spoonful of coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes… The swishing doesn’t include the throat, and if you accidentally swallow any, it’s not that bad, but at the end of the time, spit it out in a trash can, not the sink… And it really does help with the pain. I usually have to spit some out before I’m finished (because saliva gathers). I think the vanilla extract would be a great addition to this! I’m going to try it next time I have tooth pain. Google “oil pulling” to find out why it works… It may not do everything it claims, but it’s pretty wonderful at reducing tooth pain, and it makes your teeth white too! 😀

      • Erin

      I also brush and rinse my mouth out afterwards… My teeth feel so good after doing this!

    • Michelle

    If you have swollen gums or also works on abscess. Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to make a paste. Apply to area with q-tip. Hydrogen peroxide cleanses and baking soda draws out the infection or irritation.

    • t west

    ive always used fresh mint and fresh basil leaves chopped and boiled like a mild tea used as a mouthwash it has pain relieving qualities that are extremely effective for toothache in particular (tastes like crap but ive found it to be more than worth the bad taste for the relief it provides)

    • Jemzo

    Try pickled onions in vinegar. Make sure you have just taken the jar out of the fridge as it works best when really cold. Just bite down on it on the effected tooth and hold it there the pain goes really quick!

    • Matthew

    Awesome information, definitely a life saver.

    Late Saturday night looking up the internet for help and found this page. Already used a salty, warm water wash but that only helped me for 30m-1hr and each time I used it the time was reduced. By 4am tried used a half cut clove of garlic applied to the gum didn’t do that much then. Then tried just chewing it between my teeth. Tough overwhelming taste for about 30 seconds then complete pain relief! Slept till 9:30am. The garlic was a major winner.

    • Spano

    Been having a tooth ache for a couple day new to area so don’t have a regular Dentist . So I tried Anbesol it was ok but still pain well went onto this site found Makers Mark to work by swishing it but didn’t last so long. Then read a little farther and tried some of the Mexican vanilla I have whew what a difference no pain in tooth for about an hour then did it again and finally a relief for the agonizing pain

    • lucy

    The vanilla soaked cotton ball worked great. Why vanilla doesn’t taste as good as it smells and tastes in cooked items is a mystery though. Yuck! I don’t have insurance and certainly don’t have the money for one. I really appreciate this tip. Another tip is for canker sores, you put a handful of raisins against the sore until they really have a gross consistency – you’ll know when – then spit them out. The raisins draw the gook out and the canker sore heals much faster.

    • Gw

    I’ve had the WORST TOOTHACHE in my life for days. So bad, that the prescription meds I already take fof a recent surgery, had no effect on the tooth. I just tried the salt mouthwash and WOW, INSTANT RELIEF!!!! I’m chewing on a clove now and I feel NO PAIN!! THANKS TIPNUT!

    • Nithyashree

    Unbelievable!! I had to go for my Glucose tolerance test tomorrow morning and was not sure if I could eat any pain killer the night before.Crushed garlic on half broken wisdom tooth pain worked instantly. Thanks so much. I woke up in the middle of the night with this pain and now can catch some sleep.

    • Ms MAni

    Attention!! My husband was suffering with severe pain and no pain killer was helping him. I made him gragled his mouth with salt and warm water, in couple of hours I had to rush him to the the Emergeny in the middle of night because pain got worse…Next day when we saw a dentist he was, like NEVER NEVER use warm apllication for any tooth pain. So please remove this remedy immediately. Thank you.

    • Maddison

    I have a chipped tooth and for the longest time I had no pain but suddenly I started feeling pain. I don’t have dental coverage for a root canal and filling and even in Canada you pay a lot of money since basic medical doesn’t cover it. I tried the old salt and lukewarm water trick and after I swished a second time I noticed instant relief. I suggest you try this early and not at 3am when you have to be up at 6.

    • Rebecca

    Have had this torturing tooth ache for…. well it seems like forever. Have enough pain killers in my system to knock out an elephant. Tried the vanilla extract, didn’t work, cough drop didn’t work, warm salt water didn’t work. The only thing that has been working is cold water.

    • Bebot

    If nothing work, some suggested gurgling with oil of oregano for 2 days. After brushing before sleeping and after waking up. If you can drop some on the affected area, better. Do not swallow, spit out! It will act up but the pain will go after 2 days.

    If nothing really, really works, get a cup, go to the sink and fill it it with cold water. Coldness you can bear at first. Gurgle the whole mouth to cool it down.

    Then, leave cold water on the affected area, hold and replace once the coldness subsides. Repeat as many times as you feel the heat from the swelling drop. Get the water colder and colder, it relieves although the pain will come back, but it feels better and less intense.

    While you sustain cold water around your affected tooth, once in a while gurgle around to keep the whole mouth cool and used the cup with cold water,put it close to the part where it swells from outside as you cool down your mouth. As your mouth’s temperature cools down, you will feel relief. I’ve done this since I was young. Better than banging your head with the pain, this helps reduce pain.

    Home remedies as suggested; garlic, cloves,onion, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extracts, goldenseal, echinacea tea bag (and drink too), oil of oregano, salt, peppermint oil, and DRINK LOTS OF COLD WATER to help your body clean up and lower your heat.

    • Kristie Eskelson'Reid

    AMAZING………..Just Used Almond Extract ……..instant relief………. I might make it until payday and dentist…I can’t Thank you enough……….

    • Ami

    I had severe tooth pain due to a loose tooth. I decided to try swirling some Listerine around in my mouth for a couple of seconds and the relief was wonderful. I just swirled it around 3 separate times for 10-30 seconds each time and the pain was gone. This is now my go to method for toothaches. I’m telling you, this technique works wonders.

    • Paula

    I have a cracked tooth and I cant wait till Monday to have it pulled. But till then my tooth is killing me. I have tried ora-jel with no help. My tooth hurts so bad it was making the others hurt. I tried the vanilla extract and it has stopped hurting. I even tried Tylenol with codeine and that did not work. but the vanilla did. Thank you vanilla and everyone for the vanilla advice. Now maybe I can get some sleep.

    • laura

    Ive had a toothache for the last 2 days – but tonight codeine didnt even work so i tried: garlic – ok for about 30secs
    vapour rub on jaw – helped a bit but still some pain
    Salt water – meh
    ground cloves – okish but not great
    i was starting to despair when i spotted a dusty old bottle of rum in the back of the cupboard, swilled my mouth out and instant relief! feel so relaxed now, gunna have a cup of camomile tea and another swill of brandy then back off to bed. Good luck everyone

    • Cole

    Been up all night this is the second time if been in pain for this tooth , it’s a absus went to the dentist in pain 3 months ago have me antibiotic for a week pain went away so I didn’t go back , now I’m regretting it , went through the comments and tips to see what worked the best , swishing with just cold water worked when the pain started but then increased dramatiticaly throughout the night , got up went to the kitchen and whipped up some stuff , used ginger , took iphiprophon ??? (Can’t spell) took aspirin , garlic worked very well , vanilla extract , salt water and ground pepper , swished around for like 30 mins over and over again also said wat the heck and added garlic in the glass now my pain seems to be gone hopefully it will go away till I can get to a dentist , GOOD LUCK !! I feel your pain

    • Tonya

    Tried vanilla and lemon. Quite a bit of relief. THEN I held vodka in my mouth. The vodka took it from 10 to 2. Hope it lasts long enough for me to go to sleep.

    • Ashley

    The vanilla extract worked wonders for me!! My wisdom tooth is coming in and I’ve been in so much pain. I’ve had two kids naturally bit can not take a toothache pain! Anywho, I swished for 30 sec with the vanilla extract and I’ve been pain free for 4hrs now!! I’m finally getting sleep!

    • nzdo

    I had horrible pain last night did not get to bed until 530 am. I tried the salt and water, peroxide, severe orajel and nothing. Finally I looked online and came across this and decided to try the vanilla extract and worked immidiately. At the end I was able to get some rest thank you for posting guys really really helped me

    • Anita

    Clove oil works! Will certainly try the ACV and the garlic!

    • misty

    I have an abcess and don’t have insurance so I’m trying to find a way that I can get rid of it with out paying out the bum for a hospital bill I’m gonna try the proxide and hope it helps clean it out.I used chew a few years ago and it made it worse so keeping my fingers crossed that this will work.

    • Chad

    Iv been awake for almost 48 hours now with no sleep and im in constant pain but now iv tried using a luke warm tea bag applied directly on the source of pain and kept in there for around 15 mins and drank a warm cup of tea and I cant even feel the pain anymore! Lets hope it lasts ….

    • marc allen

    Ok i had a very bad tooth ache went to dental clinic day before repaired one tooth only but had 3 bad ones. The one with a big hole because my filling fell out needs a root canal it was not fixed yesterday. felt great all day till i ate some chicken tacos and bit down on the bad side. Pain pain pain the garlic worked like a charm. I only had Polaner large cut garlic in the jar. rubbed it around the tooth and managed to get a chunk into the hole . Wow it workes no pain now thank the Lord. Be Sure to use this trick i spit out the rest of the garlic as soon as i felt relief but i still have the chunk stuck in the hole which is fine.good luck.

    • balakrishna prasad

    After searching for a while finally i stopped at lavender. tried it. got some relief. but this temparary solutions will not enough. Anybody please tell me how to get out of the this

    • Austin

    I tried the baking soda in water. Tasted like crap and it didnt work fully but dumbed down thbe pain. Thanks

    • Jessamine

    Had bad toothache ’cause of cavities, took a cotton bud, dipped it in whiskey and placed it on top the teeth that was hurting, and felt some relief. If it’s just a slight pain then try rubbing salt on it, or rub some clove powder or oil on the tooth.. works for sometime.

    • Carrie

    My molar broke and the toothache pain was unbearable. I went in search for instant relief and found many methods to get me through the night until I could get in to the dentist. Ibuprofen really did not help. Oraljel Severe PM, no relief. Warm salt water did the job, but needed to be repeated often and didn’t make for a good nights sleep. Vanilla Extract did well for temporally relief too. As well as everclear!!! So, I am persevering through this pain until my dental appointment 🙂

    • Dee

    Just have to throw in my two cents. I’ve had a broken tooth for months now and yes I know I should go see a dentist, but the pain didn’t actually start until about a week ago. It wasn’t constant or all that painful at first, but today it has been horrible. Brushing my teeth did help some, but after the 5th time, it stopped working. I just tried the vanilla and the pain isn’t completely gone, but it is tolerable. I probably didn’t leave it on as long as I should and will try it again later. Hopefully it will help long enough for me to find a good dentist.

    • Lotaya Krider

    I had vanilla extract and that made my day and I have dentist appointment In a few weeeks for my cavitie I had vanilla extract for my pain so its awesome

      • Lotaya Krider

      Its awesome

    • Ashley

    Would imitation vanilla extract work or does it have to be the pure form?

    • Nasir

    I had a severe tooth ache.
    Applied pepper and salt mixed ib equal
    proportion. It worked great.
    Thanks for all above advise.

    • demola

    The hydogen peroxide is the best

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