Having a toothache doesn’t only derail your good mood, it can drive migraines and keep you from functioning during your day. Besides interfering with your life, toothaches and gum throbbing is a sign something is wrong. The best thing to do when experiencing that kind of pain is to see a dentist as soon as you can, but if you’re unable to get an appointment asap there are some home remedies to help ease the discomfort while waiting to see your dentist. 

These home remedies for a toothache are safe to do at home and shouldn’t interfere with any approaches your dentist may make. Be sure to tell them the actions you’ve taken to help ease the pain so they can determine whether it’s ok to continue after they’ve addressed the issue.


Salt Water Rinse

Toothache pain can rear its head in a sudden onset, not always giving you the opportunity to get into the dentist’s chair as soon as you’d like. If that’s the case, sometimes a saltwater rinse can provide temporary relief. It helps by drawing out infected fluid and cleans the area, essentially reducing inflammation and clearing away bacteria.

  • Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, 6 to 8 ounces will do.
  • Stir up the salt to help it dissolve
  • Swish the saltwater in your mouth for 20 to 30 seconds, but DO NOT SWALLOW IT. Drinking salt water is very bad for your body.
  • Spit it out and repeat another time or two.


Use a Sensitive Toothpaste

Brushing your teeth while having a toothache can be painful, but it’s essential you keep brushing to help ensure the underlying problem doesn’t grow worse. This can help to ease the pain right away if the discomfort is caused by dental plaque bacteria or food debris. After brushing, consider applying special toothpaste made for sensitive teeth to the area with the toothache. Do this twice a day to help cut down on the discomfort until you see a dentist.


Hot and Cold Packs

Both heat and cold packs help ease the pain of a toothache, but the cold pack specifically will help with any inflammation. Whenever you need relief or if the pain is growing unbearable, you can use either to help temporarily relieve the toothache.


Over the Counter Pain Relievers

If you’re looking for longer pain relief, although still temporary, any over-the-counter pain reliever will help you feel less of the toothache. Be sure to read and follow the pill bottle’s directions carefully to make sure that it doesn’t interact with any other medications you are taking. Also, remember that pain relievers don’t fix your toothache, it only offers temporary relief.


Possible Toothache Causes

Any pain is a red flag that something is wrong. Now that we know how to address the pain from toothaches, it’s important to know some of the possible causes.


  • Cavity: We all get them from time to time and a toothache could mean a cavity is growing into a bigger problem.
  • Gum disease: This is an infection of the gum tissues around your teeth, likely causing inflammation and pain felt as a toothache.
  • Impacted tooth: This is a tooth that is lodged inside your gum and cannot break through. While some of the home remedies above can help with this pain relief, a dentist must still be seen as soon as possible.
  • Damaged tooth: Tooth pain can be caused by cracked, chipped or broken teeth, and is usually a good reason to see schedule an appointment right away.
  • Abscess: This is an infection in your tooth caused by decay, damage, or gum disease. As with an impacted or otherwise damaged tooth, you should see a dentist straight away.


When to See a Dentist ASAP

Some oral health issues we let go on for too long, whether due to a fear of the dentist or because we don’t notice them until they develop into a toothache. If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s important to call your dentist straight away, as a serious problem could be brewing. 

  • Swelling
  • Pus
  • Pain that is ongoing or gets worse
  • Fever
  • Bleeding gums
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Foul taste in your mouth
  • Cluster headaches associated with toothaches

 The best thing to help prevent a toothache from growing into a serious oral health problem is to see a dentist as soon as you can. The home remedies for toothaches listed above don’t solve the problem, they only offer temporary relief. Whatever the underlying issue must still be addressed.

 If you are in need of a dental check-up or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, Dr. Li is available to help you regain your oral health. We have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible.

 If you have any questions or concerns about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 587-801-1939 or contact us here.

Yuping Li

Yuping Li