Fast Tooth Pain Relief Remedies to do at Home


Dr Aran Moorthy

This article was written by Australian dental surgeon Dr Aran Moorthy, BDS. Dr Moorthy has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Adelaide. You can read more about Dr Moorthy here >

Short-term Relief For Toothaches, Pain & Dental Emergencies

Cloves for oral pain relief

If you’re suffering toothache or inflammation, or perhaps waiting to see your dentist due to a dental emergency, here are some handy temporary home remedies to help you through the next few hours until you get professional help.

(These remedies are not a permanent fix or substitute for professional treatment)

If your tooth or mouth pain is concerning you, or lasts longer than two days, call your dentist or doctor immediately. Our number: 9398 3930

What type of dental pain do you have?

Before you start reaching for remedies, let’s figure out what type of pain you have. Then, we’ll know how to temporarily relieve the pain while waiting to get to the dentist.

Swelling and inflammation

Through trauma – you’ll need to reduce information by cooling, either topically or through anti-inflammatory medication

Through infection – primarily, you’ll need an antibacterial product. Cooling the area with the a compress may help with pain, though.


Infection is caused by bacteria use antimicrobial/antibacterial treatments. Apply a cold pack if there is swelling to help temporarily reduce pain – but make sure you get to a dentist ASAP.

Sharp or throbbing nerve pain

Nerve pain requires analgesics  – however, if your pain is strong, it’s likely you’ll need more than over-the-counter aspirin or paracetamol.

Painkillers for emergency dental pain and toothacheHome remedies for temporary dental pain relief


Helps treat symptoms of: nerve pain, infections

If inflammation is the problem, try anti-inflammatory medication such as Voltaren or Ibuprofen. For fast-acting pain relief, try soluble Aspro.

Gargle saltwater

Helps treat: bacterial infection, swelling, wound healing

Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and will help remove bacteria from your mouth. Additionally, by gargling liquid, you will help loosen food particles and debris that may be caught in between your teeth, possibly exacerbating your pain. Saltwater may also help reduce swelling and heal any wounds in the mouth. Mix half a teaspoon of salt into some warm water and stir until dissolved. Gargle for a good 20-30 seconds, being careful not to swallow the saline solution.

Ice packs

Helps treat symptoms of: inflammation and pain

A packet of frozen peas, cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a tea towel applied to the cheek can help alleviate some of the pain. Avoid applying ice directly on the tooth as this will only increase sensitivity to the area.

Over-the-counter numbing pastes

Helps treat symptoms of: toothache, pain, sore gums

It’s worthwhile having an over-the-counter pharmaceutical preparation in your cupboard for emergencies. There are various paste on the market, such as Orajel or Nyal tooth drops.  They all contain the vital ingredient Benzocaine, which helps temporarily dull your pain.

Cloves for dental pain reliefClove oil

Helps treat symptoms of: toothache, inflammation

Renowned for their oral pain-relieving benefits, the oil in clove helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation. Why? It contains a natural antiseptic and strong pain reliever called eugenol. You can usually find clove oil at your local supermarket or pharmacy.

Sprinkle a tiny amount of clove oil onto a small cotton ball and apply directly to the area. If this feels too strong, you can dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil – or even water.

Gently swab this mix onto the painful area, allowing a good 5 to 10 minutes for it to take effect. Repeat this every 2 to 3 hours for further pain relief. Another trick is to add a few drops of clove oil to a small glass of water and make a mouthwash.

Be sure to not swallow clove oil as ingesting the substance can cause unpleasant side-effects, including upset stomach, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties or burning in your nose and throat.

TIP: Keep your head elevated

Helps treat symptoms of: inflammation, pain

By keeping your head higher than your body, you’ll stop the blood rushing to your head, which can sometimes exacerbate your pain. If it’s late at night and you’re trying to sleep, elevating your head with a couple of extra pillows just might do the trick – alleviating pain and helping you get a good nights sleep.

Book a dental appointment

Dental EmergencyThe above remedies are useful while you’re waiting to see your dentist, or if you’re suffering from mild, temporary pain. However, if your tooth or mouth pain is concerning you, or last longer than two days, call your dentist or doctor immediately.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your dentist immediately:

  • fever
  • breathlessness or difficulty swallowing
  • swelling and inflamation
  • pain upon biting
  • unusually red gums
  • general pain or toothache that lasts longer than two days
  • bad breath , foul-tasting discharge or pus

This blog page has been fact-checked by Dentist Dr Aran Moorthy.

Book a dental appointment now!

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