Food to Soothe a Toothache

Toothaches are a common health problem and can significantly impair your ability to perform your usual activities. Tooth decay, or dental caries, cause most cases of toothache, notes MedlinePlus. In the majority of instances, insufficient tooth brushing and flossing lead to tooth decay, although genetics may play a role for some people. Certain foods may help soothe your toothache, but you should always discuss nutrition-related topics with your doctor before undertaking any treatment.

A young woman holding her jaw with a toothache.
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A toothache is usually an indication to seek the assistance of a dentist or other oral health care specialist. Certain signs or symptoms, notes, are indicative of more serious tooth problems than just tooth decay, including red or irritated gums, prolonged and severe tooth pain, fever, breathing and swallowing difficulties and the presence of distasteful discharge in your mouth. Possible causes of toothache include sinusitis, heart attack, jaw trauma and earache.

Dietary Strategies

To help treat or prevent toothaches, consider consuming a diet that is high in raw fruits and vegetables. Diets high in these foods, notes certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," provide minerals that reduce the acidity of your saliva. Avoiding all products containing refined sugars, especially soft drinks, is another important dietary strategy. One of the most effective substances in treating toothaches may be essential oil of clove. Foods high in calcium or vitamin C may also be beneficial for this health purpose.

A Soothing Food

Cloves may be one of the most soothing food in treating your toothache. Cloves contain significant amounts of manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and K, dietary fiber, magnesium and calcium. Cloves are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory action and have historically been used in treating tooth pain, tooth decay and intestinal parasites and as a carminative, or a substance that boosts your stomach acid and improves the passage of material through your intestinal tract.

Other Soothing Foods or Beverages

Several other foods or beverages may be helpful in soothing your toothache and treating your tooth decay, including cod liver oil and green tea, notes medical doctor Alan R. Gaby, author of "The Natural Pharmacy." Other beneficial foods or beverages may include garlic, yogurt and saltwater. Gargling with saltwater has historically been used for immediate toothache relief and must be performed approximately every one to two hours to help keep pain levels low.


A toothache is an indication that degenerative processes are occurring in your mouth and that you should seek the assistance of a qualified health care professional. If you develop the characteristic signs and symptoms of tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your dentist or primary care provider to be diagnosed and treated. Appropriate dietary changes are an important adjunct therapy in treating your toothache, although further scientific testing may be required to support the use of certain foods for this health purpose.

Is This an Emergency?

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