10 Home Remedies for a Toothache That Actually Work


Tooth pain is a horrible, excruciating experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The dentist can alleviate most dental problems, but until you get to the office you should try some of the old secrets below.

  1. Salt Water: Mix a heaping tablespoon full of salt in a small glass of warm water; swirl around inside your mouth for as long as you can, then spit out. Repeat as needed.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide: Swoosh a bit of hydrogen peroxide. If the taste is too horrid for you, try diluting it with a bit of water.
  3. Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil: Just a drop or two will do the trick. You can also add some to a cotton swab and hold in place or add a few drops of tea tree oil to a small glass of lukewarm to warm water and rinse your mouth with it.
  4. Oregano Essential Oil: Mix a few drops with a bit of coconut oil or olive oil, then saturate a cotton ball with mixture. Can replace the carrier oil with lukewarm water if preferred but please do dilute the oregano oil!
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and hold it in place. Can also try regular household vinegar.
  6. Ginger Root: Take a fresh piece of ginger and chew on it. The nice thing about Ginger Root is that it is easily grown. Here is an article with directions.
  7. Plantain: Chew up a fresh plantain leaf. If you’re too sore to chew, use the other side of your mouth. Once the leaf is macerated a bit apply it to the problem area and hold in place.
  8. Baking Soda: Take a cotton swab and moisten it with a bit of water, dip it in baking soda (coat the swab really well with baking soda) then apply. You can also make a mouth rinse by mixing a heaping spoonful of baking soda in a small glass of lukewarm to warm water, dissolve the soda then swish the mixture in your mouth.
  9. Cloves: This is an old time remedy.Rest a clove against the sore area until pain goes away. You can also use a drop or two of clove oil or make a thick paste of ground cloves and water or ground cloves and coconut or olive oil.
  10. Tea: Make a fresh cup of tea then take the used tea bag (still warm) and stick it in your mouth. Be careful not to tear the bag. The tannins that are naturally in tea leaves can help numb things.

While a few of these may not exactly be forgotten secrets, it's safe to say that many of them will certainly do the trick in relieving your tooth pain until you can get help. For infections, turn to salt water (burns like a mother but you'll be right as rain within a day or two) or hydrogen peroxide.

For serious pain in the form of a cavity, broken tooth, or lost crown, grab yourself some cloves or clove oil to place on the area. I wish I had known these tricks when I shattered a tooth in an incident at the bar!

This is some great advice, but it's not all there is. To read more about oral health when you're bugging out, head to Backdoor Survival.