How to Get Rid of a Toothache Without Medication

Toothache pain can range from mild to unbearable, with most causing a constant ache, throbbing pain when chewing, a sore jaw and a general feeling of illness. Most toothaches result from tooth decay, according to While all toothaches that persist for longer than two days require professional evaluation, you can ease toothache pain at home, without medication, while waiting for your appointment.

A woman suffering with tooth pain rubs her jaw. Credit: Eric Audras/ONOKY/Getty Images

Step 1

Brush and floss your teeth to remove any trapped food particles that might be causing or contributing to your toothache. This is important even if brushing and flossing causes pain. Continue brushing, flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash as normal until you see your dentist.

Step 2

Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt every hour. Mix 1/2 tsp. of normal table salt in 8 oz. of warm water to make a saline mouth rinse. Swish the solution around inside your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Step 3

Soak a cotton ball in oil of cloves and wedge it between your gum and the affected tooth. states that oil of cloves will relieve pain temporarily. Repeat every hour.

Step 4

Apply a cold compress to the affected side of your face for 20 minutes, several times each day, to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital suggests using a cold pack or ice wrapped in a damp washcloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Floss

  • Antibacterial mouthwash

  • Cotton balls

  • Oil of cloves

  • Ice pack


Call your dentist right away if you develop signs of infection, such as severe pain, swelling, fever or red gums, or if you experience difficultly swallowing or breathing.


Do not crush aspirin and apply it to your tooth or gums. Doing so can cause burns inside your mouth.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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