9 Home Remedies for Tooth Pain

Experiencing pain every time you eat your favorite ice cream or have a cup of coffee is no way to live. But for many people, it’s a daily occurrence. In fact, according to recent studies, between 11.5%- 33.5% of all people experience dentin hypersensitivity (sensitive teeth).

Common causes of tooth sensitivity range from untreated cavities to gum disease to loss of tooth enamel, among others. Thankfully, there are many options for sensitive teeth pain relief, including several home remedies that are quick and easy to implement.  

Man with sensitive teeth eating a popsicle

klebercordeiro / Getty Images

1. Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients to help prevent or reduce tooth sensitivity. Many have potassium nitrate, which numbs the nerve in the tooth to prevent tooth pain, for example.

Another ingredient is stannous fluoride, which blocks the tubule holes in the tooth that lead to the nerve, stopping pain in its tracks. Many desensitizing kinds of toothpaste also have fewer ingredients than regular toothpaste, so there are fewer irritants reaching the tooth’s nerve.  

2. Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Using a toothbrush with hard bristles could result in abrasive brushing that breaks down the tooth’s enamel, which protects the nerves in the tooth. In addition, brushing too hard can lead to receding gums, which exposes the tooth to more irritants.

Changing to a soft-bristle toothbrush can reduce enamel removal as well as protect your gums to keep your teeth strong. 

3. Salt Water Rinse

Irritated and inflamed nerves can lead to sensitive teeth, so using a salt water rinse twice a day can help reduce inflammation and pain.

Just mix 1 cup of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt, and swish around your mouth for a few minutes. Spit out when done. 

4. Fluoride

Using a fluoride rinse can help strengthen tooth enamel to protect the root and nerves, which can reduce pain. If you need a stronger fluoride, it’s possible your dentist could prescribe fluoride for you to apply at home. 

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

As a mild antiseptic and disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide works similar to a salt water rinse by reducing inflammation. It also may heal sore or damaged gums, which can reduce tooth sensitivity.

To make your own rinse, mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide—3% hydrogen peroxide works best—with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Swish around your mouth for a few minutes, and spit out when done. 

Take Care With Some Remedies

You should be cautious when using some of these remedies, such as hydrogen peroxide, so you don't use too much. For instance, using a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide than directed—in this case, 3%—could damage the tooth's enamel.

6. Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Incorporating foods such as turmeric, ginger, and cloves that have anti-inflammatory properties into your diet can help reduce sensitive teeth pain.

You can add these to your dishes, or, in some cases, you can apply them directly to the affected tooth. For instance, you can apply clove oil to your tooth using a cotton swab to numb the pain. Or you can apply ground ginger directly to the tooth. 

7. Vanilla Extract 

Popular for baking, vanilla extract is another one of many home remedies for tooth pain.

Vanilla extract contains eugenol, which acts as a pain reliever, and alcohol, which can numb the pain. You can apply it directly to the affected tooth using a cotton swab or your fingertip. 

8. Coconut Oil

Like some of the other home remedies for toothache listed here, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce or eliminate tooth pain.

To apply, simply swish 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil around your mouth for two minutes, and spit out when done. 

9. Garlic

Another food for sensitive teeth pain relief, garlic contains allicin, which can help eliminate bacteria and reduce pain.

You can apply garlic directly to the tooth by placing a garlic slice on the tooth, or by creating and applying a paste of garlic (mix water and ½ teaspoon of salt). 

Treatment 

If these home remedies for tooth pain don’t provide relief for your sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend other, more serious medical treatment options. For example, your dentist may suggest applying a sealant or bonding resin to protect the teeth.

If your pain is severe, it’s possible your dentist may recommend a root canal to remove inflamed or infected pulp in the tooth so your tooth can heal and reduce or eliminate your tooth sensitivity.

Call the Dentist

If your sensitive teeth pain continues or increases after using any of these home remedies for toothache, call your dentist right away to schedule an appointment for further examination.

Summary

Living with sensitive teeth pain can be difficult and uncomfortable, but there are several home remedies for tooth pain that could provide relief. Experiment with these different remedies to find out which ones work best for you.

If your tooth pain continues even after using these home remedies for toothache, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a dental exam and consultation.

A Word From Verywell

If you experience pain from tooth sensitivity, there are many treatments for relief. It’s important for you to treat your sensitive teeth as soon as possible to avoid more serious dental problems. If these home remedies for tooth pain don't help, speak to your dentist right away regarding clinical treatments. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes sensitive teeth?

    There are many causes for sensitive teeth. These include brushing your teeth too hard, cavities, broken teeth or cracked fillings, gum disease, tooth grinding, and other problems related to oral hygiene

  • Why do your teeth feel sensitive all of a sudden?

    If you have sudden tooth sensitivity, it could be due to a break or crack in the tooth or a filling. It also could be due to inflammation in the gums or in the nerves of the tooth. 

  • How do you whiten sensitive teeth?

    Many teeth whiteners may be abrasive to your teeth, leading to increased tooth sensitivity. There are teeth whiteners designed specifically for sensitive teeth, but you should speak with your dentist to see which ones would work best for you.

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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Library of Medicine. Prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity: systemic review and meta-analysis.

  2. Oral-B. Pain relief toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

  3. Colgate. 4 tooth pain home remedies.

  4. American Association of Endodontists. What is a root canal?