When you experience a toothache, your first step should always be to schedule a dental appointment. A variety of oral health problems can cause toothaches, but your dentist can get to the root of the issue early on and provide long-term solutions. In the meantime, you may be looking for short-term relief. Here are a few tips to ease your pain.

4 Ways to Soothe Toothaches Until Your Dental Appointment

1. Ice Packs

If you have dental pain and swelling, applying ice to the area can help treat your symptoms. Place a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a washcloth or paper towel against your face over the tooth that hurts. The ice works by constricting blood vessels, numbing pain, and reducing inflammation.

2. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief


Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are common short-term remedies for toothaches. Your local pharmacy may also carry OTC anesthetics in gel or liquid formulas that can be spread on the sore tooth and surrounding gum to numb the area temporarily. Be sure to follow the instructions for any OTC pain reliever you use and only take or apply them as directed.

3. Salt Water

If your dental appointment is a few days away, salt water rinses should help. Swishing warm salt water several times a day temporarily increases the pH balance in your mouth, making it nearly uninhabitable for many bacteria. Floss around the aching tooth to gently dislodge any food particles or bacteria, then use the rinse to wash it away. This may also help reduce discomfort.

4. Clove Oil

Clove oil is a natural remedy with anesthetic and antibacterial properties that can numb toothaches. Apply one or two drops onto a cotton pad and carefully dab it against the toothache and surrounding gums. Be sure to ask your dentist before using clove oil because although it is generally considered safe for adults, it can sometimes cause damage to the gums, tooth pulp, and skin. Your dentist can recommend the proper dosage for your age and health or suggest alternative forms of pain relief. Clove is not safe for children to take orally.


If you are experiencing a persistent toothache, schedule a visit with Gregory Sy, DDS, & Associates to find the cause and start treatments for long-term relief. Serving Amherst and Lorain, OH, this reliable dentist offers comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry. The experienced team is dedicated to ensuring the comfort of every patient and providing personalized dental care at affordable rates. Contact the office at (440) 282-9550 for an appointment, or visit their website for more information on keeping your teeth and gums healthy.