Emergency Toothache Relief: How to Numb the Pain When You Can’t Get to the Dentist

You might have a pretty high pain tolerance, but when it comes to a toothache, the pain can be unbearable for even the toughest individuals. That’s why it’s good to know some easy home remedies for emergency toothache relief.

Those aches and pains seem to always hit you at the worst time. It might be on a Friday evening, so you know you won’t be able to get in touch with any dentists. Maybe it’s over a holiday when you could have several days before getting professional help is an option. Either way, knowing how to stop tooth pain fast can help you keep the discomfort at bay.

Toothache Causes

A toothache happens when there’s irritation to the middle part of your tooth, called the pulp. There are a few things that can be the root cause of your discomfort. They are dental decay, a tooth fracture, and gum disease.

Dental decay is what leads to cavities. This happens when bacteria in your mouth solidifies and turns into plaque. If you don’t see a dentist, it could end up getting infected.

A tooth fracture is when you get a crack in a tooth. That could be a single, large split or a string of small cracks. Causes include chewing on something hard, pressure from grinding your teeth, being hit in the mouth, extreme temperature changes, and age. 

Gingivitis and gum disease happens over a period of time as the gums get inflamed by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. This is when you’ll notice sensitivity and bleeding from the gums.

Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

Left untreated, all of the issues listed above can lead to major problems down the line, so your priority should be setting up an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The good news is you don’t have to just live in pain while you wait for that appointment to come around.

Saltwater or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to rinse your mouth out. Swishing warm salt water around in your mouth can help remove food particles that may be stuck in your teeth, and the salt is a natural disinfectant. You may already have done this before to help soothe a sore throat. 

Hydrogen peroxide is another good antiseptic to rinse with. It will kill any bacteria in your mouth, reduce plaque, and help heal bleeding gums. Just dilute some peroxide with water, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it out.

For either of these rinses, make sure you don’t swallow the mixture.

Young woman holds ice pack on cheek to soothe toothache

Cold Compress

Some conditions can lead to swelling in your cheek and jaw area, along with the gums. Many times that points to an abscess, which is a pocket of puss that has formed in the roots of your tooth. Putting a nice cold rag or an ice pack on the swollen area can help reduce the swelling and numb the pain. 

If you’re experiencing swelling, a fever, and red gums, it’s imperative that you see your dentist. Those are the signs of an abscessed tooth. If not treated, severe infection can spread and make things much worse.

Pain Relievers and Anesthetics

An over-the-counter pain reliever might be all you need for a reprieve from the discomfort. Take your choice of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen as directed on the bottle.

Some kind of anesthetic drops or spray is good to have on hand, as well. There are several different products that will allow you to apply a liquid or gel directly to the area that’s causing the problem. The medicine will numb the inflamed area. 

Natural Remedies

Aside from salt for a saltwater rinse, you might have a few other items already in the cupboards that can provide some natural relief.

Don’t just throw away that peppermint teabag after you make a nice hot beverage in hopes of getting a little relief. Peppermint actually has some numbing properties that can help treat pain. Once you have used the teabag in your drink, wait for it to cool down a little. Then put the bag on the spot that’s hurting. 

To mix things up a little, you can also cool down that teabag so you get a combination of the peppermint and a cold compress.

Do you have that box of baking soda you bought to start trying to brush with to help whiten your teeth? That’s not the only oral use it has. Mix a little bit with some water to make a thick paste. Then apply that paste to the tooth and gums where you’re getting the pain. 

Baking soda will neutralize the acids in your mouth, which in turn kills bacteria. 

You might have to go out and find this one, but if you’re looking for a natural remedy you’ll want to give it a shot. Clove oil has been used for decades as an at-home antibacterial treatment and has a numbing property that can help dull the pain. The chemical eugenol, which is found in clove oil, is also a natural antiseptic. 

To use clove oil, just apply a few drops of the oil directly to the area where you’re experiencing the pain. You can also dilute the oil in some water and use it as a mouth rinse.

Don’t Forget Your Appointment

While all of these methods can help you get by without being in agony, if you’re experiencing pain for more than a day or two you need to see a dentist. That’s especially true if you’re having some swelling and bleeding gums. 
The very best way to avoid ending up with a toothache is always going to be to practice good oral health every day and to visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings.