One of the first things that you can try – even before at-home remedies – is some quick cleaning. Try to remove any trapped particles of food that are lodged near the tooth and might be causing pain.
Carefully work dental floss between both sides of the tooth and dislodge any food particles.
After flossing, rinse your mouth thoroughly. Rapidly swish warm water around in your mouth to loosen anything that is left. Spit the water out when done.
Over-the-counter topical ointments are another option. These work by numbing the area around your tooth or by application directly to the cavity. The active ingredient in such medications is benzocaine. Follow the label directions to determine the proper amount and application.
Only use topical pain relievers approved for dental use. Other topical pain killers could be dangerous if ingested.
Another quick way to reduce the pain of a toothache is to numb it with cold. Cold temperatures will reduce blood flow to area. You will experience less pain as the blood flow drops.
Wrap an ice cube in a plastic bag or a thin cloth and apply it to the jawline surrounding the pained tooth for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take breaks in 10 to 15 minute intervals. After each break, continue to apply the compress to the pained area as needed.
Make sure that the area has returned to “normal” before reapplying the compress. You may otherwise damage surrounding tissue.
Cloves are an old standby remedy for toothaches, as they have a natural numbing effect and are also good at killing bacteria. You can use whole cloves, ground cloves, or clove oil to get rid of your tooth pain.
If using ground cloves, clean your hands and then apply a pinch of ground cloves between the pained gum and cheek. As the cloves combine with your saliva, they will begin to numb the surrounding tissue.
Another way to reduce pain and kill bacteria is to prepare a salt water rinse. Salt is not a cure but can strip the mouth of bacteria and draw moisture out from an inflamed gum surrounding a pained tooth, thereby soothing it.
Combine 1 tsp (5 ml) of salt with 8 ounces (250 ml) of warm water. Allow the salt to dissolve in the water before use.
Rinse your mouth with this solution for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat as needed.
You will most likely want to rinse with fresh water after a salt preparation. With water from the tap, rinse again for 30 seconds.
Both of these common vegetables are traditional folk remedies for tooth pain and are thought to have antibacterial properties. They may give you bad breath, but they’ll help to kill harmful germs in the mouth and can offer temporary relief.
Wedge a clove of garlic between your sore tooth or gum and cheek. Hold it there until the pain subsides.
Alternately, cut a small piece of onion and place it on your affected tooth.