What to Do If You Have a Toothache at Home

When dealing with tooth pain, the main goal is to get rid of it as soon as possible. Whether the pain is intense, sporadic, or persistent, it might disrupt your regular activities or keep you up at night.

The first thing you should do is make an appointment with your dentist. But in the meantime, you can alleviate dental pain with home remedies.

Tooth Pain

Tooth Pain

What are the causes of toothaches?

Tooth pain can be caused by something that happens to the structures that compose or surround the teeth, such as the bone or gum. The following are some of the most common reasons for dental pain:

  • Injury to the mouth or jaw. These can occur from trauma to the face.
  • Sinus infection. Drainage of sinus infections can cause tooth pain.
  • Tooth decay. When bacteria cause cavities, the nerves in your teeth can be exposed and cause pain.
  • Fracture or dislodgment of dental restoration. If you lose a filling, the nerve inside the tooth can be exposed and cause pain.
  • A tooth with an abscess or is infected.
  • Food or other detritus caught in your teeth. Items wedged between the teeth can cause pressure or inflame the gums.
  • Eruption of the wisdom teeth.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders. It may hurt in the ear area, but the pain can radiate to the teeth.
  • Gum disease.
  • Bruxism. Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause dental pain and muscle fatigue.

Read Also: Root Canal Latest Facts: Definition, Purpose, Procedure and Complications

What Causes Certain Toothaches to be More Painful at Night?

Blood rushes to the head when a person is lying down, which might explain why this happens. This more blood in the region may exacerbate the discomfort and pressure associated with a toothache. 

You Can Try These Remedies At Home

Listed below are many treatments that work by reducing tooth irritation or acting as a numbing agent for minor problems. These tips are not a cure for severe toothache. Some conditions can only generate relief after intervention by a professional.

A cold compress or ice pack

A cold compress or ice pack might help relieve dental pain, particularly if the toothache is caused by an injury or inflamed gums.

For a few minutes at a time place the ice pack to the outside of the cheek above the painful tooth.

Cold therapy constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the afflicted region. Cold therapy relieves pain while also reducing swelling and inflammation.

Analgesics and Anti-inflammatory medications

These medications can also help decrease swelling and decrease pain signals. Be sure to take your medicine every hour as directed on the package. If you take medicine once and then stop when you feel better, the pain and swelling will almost certainly return.

Avoid self-medication and seek professional help.

Read Also: Wisdom Teeth Removal: Description, Procedure, Risks, and Recovery

Elevate Your Head

Although it may be difficult to fall asleep with a toothache, laying down might make the discomfort worse since blood pressure to the head rises when you are resting flat. If feasible, prop your head up with pillows.

Avoid acidic, very spicy, and hard foods

These foods can make the pain worse.

Keep your mouth as clean as possible and Rinse your teeth with mouthwash. 

It is important to keep the teeth and oral cavity clean, trying not to disturb the painful area. To clean and numb your teeth, use a mouthwash that contains alcohol, and avoid too cold or hot water..

Avoid putting food or substances that can generate more irritation.

It is best to avoid that the area is in contact with substances that can aggravate the problem and generate possible risks of infection and death of the dental pulp. On the internet, some posts suggest putting some substances like garlic or peroxide, these elements are harmful and can increase pain, or would generate more health problems.

Is it necessary for me to visit the dentist?

It is always preferable to see a dentist if you are experiencing any dental discomfort or pain. Postponing your visit to the dentist might exacerbate your problem and inflict more damage on your health. If the pain is severe or your health is jeopardized you should seek an emergency dental check-up immediately.

The following are emergencies where you should go immediately to a health center:

  • The discomfort is unbearable. 
  • Bleeding that won’t stop.
  • If you have a fever, headache, or pain when opening your mouth, or if you are having difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Read Also: Teeth Whitening: Oral Health Tips for a Great Smile


Toothache. (2021). Retrieved 4 July 2021, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toothache/




Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.