How to Fix a Toothache Fast


Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pain medication
  • Oral care numbing gel
Woman with toothache pain
Woman with toothache pain (Image: AdamGregor/iStock/Getty Images)

A toothache can keep you from going about your day and performing basic tasks such as eating or talking. There are some underlying issues that can cause a toothache such as gum disease, cavities and tooth decay, and foreign objects caught in the teeth and gums. If you get a toothache, learning how to ease the pain can make your mouth feel better faster.

Step 1

Stir together 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Swish and gargle the salt water mix in your mouth for one minute, then spit and rinse with lukewarm water. The salt water will help relieve the pain for a few hours and can be repeated as often as needed.

Woman holding glass of salt water
Woman holding glass of salt water (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Step 2

Take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve pain, and continue taking it according to the label’s directions throughout the day to help stay on top of pain. Ask your pharmacist if he recommends any medications that work best on toothaches.

Woman talking with pharmacist
Woman talking with pharmacist (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Step 3

Apply a numbing gel to the area where the pain is worst. Dab on a small amount of gel and repeat as needed.

Man in more comfort after numbing gel was applied
Man in more comfort after numbing gel was applied (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Try a natural alternative to chemically based oral gels if you have very sensitive gums or teeth. Alternatives include onion paste, clove oil and warm tea bags placed between the teeth and cheek.
  • Avoid using whitening products while dealing with tooth pain, as these can increase pain due to the chemicals they contain.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks, as these can also worsen the pain.
  • Whenever you get a toothache, always make an appointment with your dentist to treat the underlying cause and prevent the ache from returning.
  • Follow all instructions on medication labels as to doses, use times and warnings for those taking medications and pregnant women.
  • When dealing with a child’s toothache, make sure pain medication and oral gel are meant specifically for children.


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