How to Treat Tooth Pain

tooth painTooth pain can happen at any time for a variety of reasons. You could have a broken tooth, swollen gums, a filling fall out or an infection. If you are in a lot of pain, the best thing to do is visit your dentist. If you cannot see the dentist immediately, these remedies can help provide some relief from the pain.

Ice pack

An Ice pack or a cold compress are effective in dealing with tooth pain, especially if there is swelling. If you do not have an ice pack or cold compress, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables or put some ice in a towel to get the job done.

You should hold the ice pack against your cheeks above the swollen part of your mouth for a few minutes and repeat until the swelling subsides or until you are no longer in pain. Applying ice tightens the blood vessels and reduces the flow of blood to the affected area, which helps to numb the pain and reduce the swelling.


Even though you will not find any over the counter medication as strong as the medication your dentist will give you for the pain, you can find a medication that contains acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which should provide some temporary relief for the pain.


Saltwater has proven to be effective in reducing swelling because it is a natural disinfectant. All you have to do is mix half a teaspoon of salt with some warm water and use it as a mouthwash. Swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out and repeat as many times as necessary. The saltwater helps to loosen food particles that are stuck between your teeth, which could also be responsible for the swelling and pain.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea has numbing properties that can help with tooth pain. The menthol in the tea is an antibacterial, which helps to disinfect your mouth and reduce the swelling. Put one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in boiling water and let it sit for 20 minutes. Once it has cooled, you can either swish it around your mouth and spit it out or drink it.

If you do not want to use the tea, you can hold a warm tea bag on the affected area until the pain is reduced or pour a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton swab or ball and hold it on the affected area until the pain subsides.


Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries because of a compound called allicin, which is a strong antibacterial. You can use garlic for temporary pain relief by crushing a clove and mixing it with a little salt before applying it to the affected tooth.


The remedies provided are only to be used for temporary pain relief. If you have tooth pain, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Request an appointment here: or call Abingdon Family Dentistry at (410) 844-0973 for an appointment in our Bel Air office.

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