Toothache Busters

Nothing beats a toothache like good preventative dental care and personal dental hygiene of your own, but should a flaming toothache rear its head, here are some unconventional ways of abating it.



These remedies do not take the place of treatment at the dentist, but they may help you bear the pain or reduce the pain until you can safely make it there.

Possible Causes of a Toothache

Toothaches can be mild or severe (constituting a visit to the emergency room) and can be caused by any number of things, including gum disease and infection, wisdom teeth, a cracked tooth, teeth grown incorrectly, eating too many sweets (that have broken down the tooth enamel), sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, complications from dental surgery or an underlying medical condition.

Pain Relievers

Comfrey – Tea serves many medicinal purposes, but comfrey tea bags in particular are great analgesics for toothaches. Simply dip a comfrey tea bag in water and apply it directly to the sore tooth. Comfrey contains allantoin, a powerful organic molecule that suppresses inflammation. It’s allantoin that is believed to be responsible for the reduction in toothache pain when the herb is applied to the affected area.

Cloves – Cloves have antiseptic qualities, such that chewing on its leaves with a mild toothache can help fight infection and alleviate pain. Its essential oils are also used in dentistry around the world (and the U.S.) to reduce pain. Dabbing just a couple eye drops onto the achy tooth should be all you need, but be careful not to swallow it since clove oil can upset the stomach.

Icy Acupressure – Acupuncture and its sister acupressure are based on the belief that 12 meridians run through the body and along those meridians are key points where the placement of needles or pressure can restore the balance of energy and promote healing. Well, one of those pressure points is called the “hoku point,” which sits in the groove between the thumb and the index finger. Acupuncturists believe that applying pressure and/or ice there can alleviate the pain of a toothache (or headache). It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

Coffee Cruda – Toothache and headache pain seem to be closely related, as yet another remedy provides relief for both. Coffee cruda is simply unroasted coffee beans and is used as a homeopathic treatment for a number of ailments. In this case, coffee cruda works especially well for toothaches that can be described as sharp pains rather than deep-rooted, throbbing pain.

Regular Salt – Gargling in warm saltwater or applying a salt paste directly to your tooth can provide welcome relief. This works best if used at the slightest twinge of pain before it gets any worse and until you can be seen by your dentist.

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