7 Foolproof DIY Toothache Solutions

A toothache will ruin your whole day in an instant. You’re out and about, doing your thing, and the next thing you know you’re in crippling pain, barely able to pick up the phone to call the dentist.

We’ve been there. And when the dentist can’t manage to squeeze you in until next week, you have to fall back onto plan B: home remedies. There are thousands upon thousands of cheats, hacks, and ‘miraculous’ cures boasted by all your ancestors and your grandma, but at the end of the day, you just want something that can get the job done.

Here are seven tried and true at-home treatments guaranteed to help ease your pain:


  • Salt/Baking Soda Solution:
    • Salt and baking soda both alkinalize the mouth and kill bacteria that thrive in an acidic environment. Swish either the saltwater or baking soda solution (one tablespoon of either mixed into half a cup of warm, purified water) for as long as you can stand, and then spit it out. Repeat this as often as needed.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide:
    • Hydrogen peroxide is an over-the-counter antiseptic that you can buy at most any grocery or drug store. Follow the same procedure as with the saltwater, diluting it with purified water if you can’t handle the taste. If you don’t mind it, we recommend using it straight from the bottle.
  • Alcohol:
    • This method works with both actual drinking alcohol (whiskey, scotch, brandy, or vodka are recommended) or a strong mouthwash that contains alcohol.
  • Vanilla Extract:
    • Soak a cotton swab/ball in the extract and hold it over the affected area (the tooth itself and the surrounding gum area). Other equally as effective extracts include peppermint, lemon, and almond.
  • Tea Tree Oil:
    • Apply a saturated cotton swab/ball onto the tooth/gum, or put a few drops into a glass of room-temperature water and swish. You can also use coconut, peppermint, clove, or oregano oil mixed with a few drops of olive oil. Clove oil is especially popular because it contains Eugenol, which is antibacterial and a natural anesthetic.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar:
    • Apply using a cotton swab/ball. Apple Cider Vinegar kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. You can try this with white vinegar as well!
  • Onion, Garlic, and Cloves
    • Settle a slice of fresh onion or garlic (sliced or mashed) into whichever cheek is on the side of the offending tooth and hold it in your mouth. Both of these ingredients are antibacterial.
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