10 natural remedies to help alleviate your tooth ache woes

Here are simple remedies you can try at home to ease your toothache discomfort while you wait for your dentist appointment. Source: Getty

Suffering from a toothache is undoubtedly an agonising experience. For those who are a little older, a toothache can be especially bothersome. The constant throbbing makes it challenging to carry out even the most basic activities, leaving us desperate for instant relief.

It’s always best to visit a dentist as soon as you start feeling symptoms of a toothache, however, if you can’t see a dentist right away we’ve found the following at-home solutions that may help alleviate the agony while you wait for your appointment.

The importance of senior dental care

Old or young, dental care is an important matter. Source: Getty

Before we get into the natural remedies for toothache, it’s important for seniors to understand that excellent oral health extends well beyond the mere aesthetics of a beautiful, cavity-free smile.

Oral health has a significant impact on overall wellbeing, and ignoring it can potentially contribute to the development of chronic ailments like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Poor oral health may lead to weight loss issues, increase the risk of falls and hospitalisations, and may create social challenges due to missing teeth or bad breath. Seniors who neglect their oral health may also run the risk of increasing health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and miss the signs of mouth cancer.

While these remedies might be helpful, the best way to keep your mouth healthy is to visit your dentist regularly and establish a good at home oral health care regime.

Here are 10 natural remedies you might find in your cupboard at home

1. Onion

Onions have antiseptic properties that can provide relief from pain and kill germs that cause infections in your mouth. Try chewing on raw onion for a few minutes at the first sign of having a toothache. Alternatively, you can place a piece of raw onion directly on the gum or tooth giving you pain.

2. Garlic

Typically putting garlic in your mouth will give you bad breath, but it can also be an immense source of pain relief from toothaches. That’s because garlic has antibiotic properties that work wonders for pain relief. Just like using the onion, there are two ways garlic can work to ease your toothache. You can mix crushed garlic or garlic powder with salt and apply it directly to the tooth or gum giving you pain, or you can chew a garlic clove or two to relieve the pain. To make sure you’re getting the best relief from pain, you should try using garlic for a few days.

3. Salt and pepper

If you don’t have onion or garlic in your cupboard, reach for the salt and pepper instead. Both salt and pepper have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making them great pain relievers for your mouth. Instead of pouring salt and pepper into your mouth, you actually mix it up into a paste. Mix an equal amount of salt and pepper with some water, mix into a paste and apply it to the tooth or gum that is aching. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and continue to do this for a few days.

4. Ice

Like any pain, toothaches can be numbed with ice. There are several ways you can use ice to ease your toothache. Try wrapping an ice cube in plastic and a thin cloth and applying it to your sore tooth for 15 minutes. If you don’t want to put ice in your mouth, try placing an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel on your cheek. According to an old wives tale, if you massage your hand with an ice cube it’ll relieve your toothache. All you have to do is wrap an ice cube in a tea towel and massage that area between your thumb and forefinger.

5. Teabags

Peppermint is well known as a pain reliever in various forms, which is why drinking peppermint tea is great for relieving toothaches. Just add one teaspoon of peppermint leaves to a cup of boiling water and leave it sit for 20 minutes. Once it cools, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out or swallow it. Strong black tea can also reduce pain and swelling. Tea bags are also great at relieving pain, simply place a warm, wet tea bag on your sore tooth.

6. Salt water

All it takes is a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of boiling water to ease your toothache. Salty water makes for a great pain-killing mouthwash, reducing swelling, cleansing the area around the tooth and cleaning away debris that might be irritating your teeth and gums. Simply swish the water in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. The beauty of this treatment is it’s fast, and you can repeat it as often as you need.

7. Vinegar and a brown paper bag

It seems a bit strange, but vinegar and a brown paper bag can actually distract you from your tooth pain. According to this country cure, soak a small piece of brown paper in vinegar, sprinkle some black pepper on one side and hold it to your cheek. It’ll give your cheek a warm sensation that will keep your mind off your sore tooth.

8. Vanilla essence

Due to its alcohol volume, vanilla essence is a useful pain reliever. All you need to do is soak a cotton ball in vanilla essence and hold it on your sore tooth or gums for a few minutes to relieve the pain.

9. Lemons or limes

Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes are great pain relievers for toothaches. With their high citric acid and Vitamin C content, these fruits get rid of bacteria and boost your immune system to fight toothache-causing bacteria. Just cut the lemon or lime into slices and bite into them to release the juice and put them on your sore tooth or gums.

10. Ginger

Roots such as ginger make perfect pain relievers due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. All you need to do is take a piece of fresh ginger and chew it. It’s as simple as that.

While natural remedies such as these are great at relieving pain, they should not be used as the single way of treating your toothache. If your pain persists, you should definitely see a dentist.

This article was originally published on September 22, 2016, and has been updated on July 13, 2023.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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