Can You Treat a Toothache at Home?

Jan 27, 2018 | Tooth Pain

Can You Treat a Toothache at Home

When you’re suddenly struck with a toothache, floating ideas of home remedies may quickly come to mind. Whether you heard it from your great-aunt or saw it on Pinterest, at-home treatments are everywhere. Edmonds dentist, Dr. Kitts can explain more about how to care for a toothache and when to come in for a visit.

Key Takeaways

  • Toothaches can be temporarily relieved with home remedies, but they may not be safe or long-lasting.
  • Common home remedies include alcohol, garlic, saltwater rinses, and herbs.
  • Be cautious with home remedies and consult with a dentist for proper care.
  • Alcohol can clean and numb, garlic can kill germs, saltwater can rinse away debris, and herbs may disinfect and numb.
  • Do not apply essential oils directly to the mouth, and consult with a dentist for persistent or worsening toothaches.


Home Remedy for Toothache

Common causes of toothaches are infections, cavities, damaged enamel, a cracked tooth, or an exposed root – all good reasons to get yourself to the dentist! Home remedies for a toothache may work for immediate relief, but they’re not likely to last long, and they may not be completely safe.

If you like using household ingredients for personal care, you may look into your own pantry for something to relieve the pain, but do your research prior to use–and before things get too out of hand, call your dentist to prevent worse pain or problems.

What are common home remedies for a toothache?

The best-case scenario is some pain relief with a simple ingredient or treatment. Be cautious as even relatively harmless ingredients might irritate other parts of your gums and tongue. The most commonly shared tips for treating a sore tooth at home are:


Either in the form of whiskey or vanilla extract, alcohol can clean and kill bacteria that cause pain. It can also numb irritated tissue. Alcohol is commonly applied directly to the sore tooth or via a soaked cotton ball left on the spot.


Can kill germs that cause pain and inflammation. Usually applied by chewing a raw head of garlic or mashing it up and applying it to the spot in pain.


Saltwater can rinse away pain-causing junk on your teeth and gums and can ease inflammation of the tissue. Swish and gargle water with pure salt a couple of times per day and be sure to spit it out when you’re done.


Peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and cloves are popular disinfectants that may also numb the area in pain for a short while. Do not apply herbs in essential oil form directly to your mouth because they are too strong and will only hurt you more. Try swishing a small amount in your mouth with water, or put a damp tea bag right onto the affected area.

If something is really wrong

As with many natural remedies, most of these would probably be best used preventatively. By the time you truly have a toothache, there is likely a deeper problem that needs to be fixed. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. To be relieved of pain and prevent further damage, treat the cause, not the symptom. Blood, swelling, discoloration, and persisting pain should send you to the dentist right away.

If you have a toothache, call Dr. Kitts to make an appointment and get to the root of the problem. Be ready to report when the pain started and if it aches more or less at different times of the day.



Eric Kitts, DDS

Eric Kitts, DDS

Owner @ Soundview Family Dental

Born in Seattle and raised in Puyallup, Dr. Eric Kitts received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and his DDS from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Kitts began practicing dentistry in 2000, at his office in Richmond Beach. In 2011, Dr. Kitts built a brand-new, state-of-the-art dental facility located in the heart of downtown Edmonds.

Book with us today!

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and refuse to show the world your beautiful smile? Has discomfort at the dentist kept you from receiving dental work that will give you a reason to smile again?

At Soundview Family Dental in Edmonds, WA, we understand that not everyone likes the dentist. Our team of caring professionals works with you to ensure that you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through the door. Specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Dr. Kitts and his team work hard to preserve your natural teeth and give you back a smile you can be proud of.

Contact today to schedule an appointment and let our team deliver a beautiful, natural-looking smile you can be proud to show off.

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