Your mouth is sore and tender, your head pounds, and your gums are throbbing. You’ve got a toothache. Tooth pain can be excruciating and must be treated by a dentist immediately. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do at home to help ease the pain and get some short-term relief.

OTC Pain Relievers

Dentists strongly recommend acetaminophen for children with tooth pain, but for adults, any over-the-counter pain medication will do. If you choose aspirin, swallow it and don’t put it on your tooth or gums. This could further inflame the issue and is a folk remedy that doesn’t work.

Saltwater Rinse

Until you can get in to see your dentist, one of the best treatments you can do is swish warm salt water around in your mouth. A good mix is 1/2 teaspoon to 8 ounces of water. Spit the solution out without swallowing it. You can also try to gently floss around the sore tooth to try to remove any small bits of food in the small gaps around the tooth.

Cold Compress

If your face is swollen from the tooth, you can put an ice pack on your cheek. It can help ease the pain, as well as potentially lessen the swelling. It could mean that you have a tooth abscess, gunk stuck deep in your tooth, or a sack of pus. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can cause a serious infection in other teeth and potentially your jaw. Signs of infection include red gums and fever.


This is a weird trick, but some people swear by it. Put ice in your hand, on the same side of the body as your sore tooth. Rub ice in the space between your thumb and forefinger for around seven minutes or until the area gets numb. Did it work? Researchers believe that ice stops pain signals to your brain.

Featured Image: Freepik @ mdjaff