More natural, simple and/or inexpensive home remedies for toothache, dental & jaw pain
While the more than 20 additional suggestions for toothache relief listed in the following are not grouped under a descriptive heading (such as "herbal-based toothache remedies" etc.) due to their disparate nature, one or several of them may nevertheless prove very powerful for you. For all of Healing Teeth Naturally's suggested approx. 200 natural and/or holistic toothache, gum and other dental remedies, see the Dental remedies overview page.
Rest for your teeth
If your tooth and/or its socket has suffered trauma such as from receiving a blow to your jaw, resulting in toothache, try giving your teeth a rest, such as via fasting, ingesting only fluid foodstuffs (preferably freshly pressed organic carrot juice and similar juices), etc.
While fasting may come naturally with toothache (since it is too painful to chew), someone sent in this additional advice: "My trick for dealing with (dental pain) crises ... is to go on a cayenne1 and grape juice fast. I've not eaten anything since lunch on Friday, just drinking two ounces of grape juice with a bunch of cayenne every once in a while instead. On Sunday that amounted to a drink every hour and a half, and sleeping most of the time in between."
Of course, this is likely not to work if the pain is due to deep-reaching caries, because of the sugar content of the grape juice (at least in my own experience, even natural types of sugar cannot be tolerated by a painful tooth - also compare Alkalinizing foods). Consider then...
(The following has been translated by Healing Teeth Naturally from the book Fasten heilt Karies [Fasting Heals Tooth Decay] by Robert Römer.)
"There is another possibility (in addition to dietary change according to dentists Dr. Weston A. Price or Dr. Johann Georg Schnitzer) to heal advanced tooth decay: fasting.
Fasting is simpler than permanent dietary restrictions, the tooth is granted a period of maximum regeneration and it only takes a few days. With toothache of medium severity, the pain will be gone after 2-3 days of fasting and won't return either as long as the diet is improved. And even very severe toothache will no longer occur after 6 to 7 days of fasting. Several points need to be respected.
(1) Fasting means fasting, in other words eating nothing at all and only drinking water or mineral water.
(2) A healthy person can fast for 3 days without help. In case of compromised health or vitality, professional supervision may be required.
(3) Toothache comes and goes in waves. If the tooth is already in very bad repair, 2 or 3 days of fasting won't be enough, since even if the pain should leave quickly, it will come back. In such cases, the fast must be extended to 5-7 days.
(4) Fasting is no panacea. With a tooth which has undergone many treatments, that has a misaligned crown, is pumped full of chemicals and where the pain doesn't stop, a visit to the dentist is imperative since fasting cannot solve mechanical problems."
Compare here however, On the effects of fasting on the health of teeth and gums (which have been observed to include the healing of tooth decay), and the fact that teeth can and do "shed" fillings.
Sleep of course is one of the greatest natural healers, with most of the body's healing activities apparently occurring during the deeper stages of REM [rapid eye movement] sleep. One thing I've found to help well with relieving toothache longer-term (and thus allowing proper sleep) (after disinfecting my mouth with salt water, tea tree oil etc.) is applying half an allopathic (chemical) pain-killer tablet directly on the painful spot (and for peace of mind, taking the other half internally). Just one such treatment might suffice.
A simple tip to help you sleep, if you don't already do this naturally, is trying to lie with the affected tooth area pointing upwards. Relieving blood and lymph pressure on the sore area in this way has helped a friend of mine find sleep in spite of a raging toothache that had plagued him for hours.
While it does sound strange - partially cleansing the colon via an enema has indeed helped against toothache.
In fact all of the above suggestions induce systemic detoxification which according to Dr Humbart Santillo, author of Natural Healing with Herbs, is a powerful healing modality for toothache. As site visitor JR (who herself successfully employed systemic detox to get rid of toothache) lucidly commented, "... if someone has a persistent toothache despite using topical treatments, it may be that they are still eating/drinking in a way that keeps their body in a toxic state and the toothache is a manifestation of that."
According to the author of the book "Wonders of Uropathy", Dr. G.K. Thakkar, rinsing one's mouth with one's own fresh urine (self-made medicine) has worked wonders with the worst type of tooth pain and never failed in a single instance, with severest toothache disappearing in minutes. (Background information on urine therapy and rinses against toothache and periodontal issues including testimonials at Urine therapy for the healing of teeth and gum problems.)
While it may appear that mixing the urine with other agents such as propolis (see further down) etc. might further enhance the healing effects (furthermore, propolis adds the benefit of being able to mask any unpleasant smell or taste), there are also caveats to observe, scroll to the "Caveat: to be on the safest side, never mix urine with any antiseptic substance" on Urine therapy for the healing of teeth and gum problems..
If you are unfamiliar with the proven benefits of urine therapy, having a toothache may not be the best moment to overcome the natural repugnance initially felt by most people when introduced to this ancient but powerful healing practice. This page would be incomplete however without mentioning it. If you like, you could simply try dabbing on some fresh urine, the salt content in itself could be helpful (compare salt water toothache remedy).
For background and sample testimonials2 for what Healing Teeth Naturally classes as a powerful healing/detoxification modality, see Oil pulling: more than an oral cleansing routine. Oil pulling also has relieved toothache very effectively.
Iodine / Lugol's
I would use the following suggestion for obtaining toothache relief with some caution considering for one thing the very "active" and "grasping" nature of iodine and for another its ability to solubilize mercury (see below Caveat).
Here is what I've seen suggested: "... a drop of iodine on a tooth helps kill the pain and stop abscess. Just remember to drop it on, let it sit, DON'T SWALLOW. Then brush after."
A dental pain success report involving Lugol's from July 2013 concerned a sore spot next to a tooth that suggested deep-seated tenderness (infection?) which the "dentist was concerned about". Applying Lugol's on a cotton swab (ear bud) to the affected area mornings and nights healed the tenderness in a few weeks.
In "Nuclear War Survival Skills" by Cresson H. Kearny3, the author states that "[e]lemental (free) iodine is poisonous, except in the very small amounts in water disinfected with iodine tablets or a few drops of tincture of iodine." In fact, in Dr. Hulda Regehr Clark's book The Cure For All Diseases, Lugol’s Iodine Solution administered as drops in water and for disinfection is one of the bactericidal etc. mainstays, "useful for killing vicious bacteria like Salmonella" and perfectly safe (if not allergic) to "take day after day, when needed, because of its peculiar attaching property." But for a person allergic to iodine, it could be fatal!!!
Caveat: You may wish to completely abstain from taking iodine orally if you carry amalgam fillings in your mouth. As shown for instance in the study "Effect of iodine on mercury concentrations in dental-unit wastewater" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002132), iodine can mobilize mercury from dental amalgam. The resulting (temporarily) higher and potentially dangerous dissolved mercury concentrations in your mouth could expose you to an unnecessary (additional) risk.5
I've seen it suggested to rinse the mouth with alcohol such as vodka to kill any infection. While whiskey is said to work well, drinks with even higher alcohol content apparently work better. You can hold a small amount of whiskey on your tooth for instance, the gum is likely to absorb some of it and the pain is likely to go away. If you slightly warm the alcohol up before taking it into your mouth, it may be easier to take.
At nighttime, apparently alcohol taken internally will keep you from falling into the deeper (most healing) stages of REM sleep (see Sleep).
See MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) dental applications: a safe & natural remedy for many types of pain and inflammation, incl. in teeth & gums.
Colloidal silver has antibiotic, anti-bacterial, virucidal, anti-microbial properties, kills yeast, fungi, and other pathogens and might be available at healthfood stores and certainly online.
While colloidal silver to my knowledge is supposed to work with similar effectiveness as my favourite salt water toothache remedy, it is more expensive (although instructions on how to make colloidal silver very cheaply at home can be found on the internet) and may have other drawbacks (one of them supposedly being, with chronic ingestion, a skin condition called argyria [gray or blue discolouration] , or the accumulation of silver in various organs).*
* Update: The notion that COLLOIDAL silver can cause argyria seems to have been fully debunked by www.silver-colloids.com/Pubs/dark-side-rebutal.htm .
A testimonial found on earthclinic.com regarding the DIY healing of an abscessed tooth/gum involving colloidal silver says that the abscess healed within 2 days of drinking four tablespoons colloidal silver daily and placing a cotton ball soaked in colloidal silver on the abscessed gum, with the abscess beginning to drain within hours. The testimony specifies that a good colloidal silver ("mesosilver" from a reputable company) was used and warns of companies selling cheap imitation colloidal silver which is "more like ionic silver".
Activated charcoal is another (of many) unsung heroes in the natural healing field (although not really inexpensive). Suggested applications I found:
Mix activated charcoal powder with water into a paste. Apply paste to a piece of gauze or paper towel and place on the painful tooth/gum/abscess area, biting down. (Activated charcoal powder should be available in pharmacies, some drug stores and possibly health food stores and from online sellers.)
"Some bentonite users report relief from swelling, pain and aching in the gums and teeth. Since these symptoms are manifestations of toxins or infections in the tissue surrounding the teeth and gums, it is easily apparent that bentonite’s powerful absorbing qualities would provide relief for these areas. If you are suffering from pain or swelling in the teeth and gum area, it would be wise to take a psyllium shake several times a day to absorb any poisons being released from the infected mouth into the bowel. Dr. Anderson, himself, has done this many times for a tooth infection and attained complete relief from the pain and aching. His tooth infections were caused by old root canals. When he finally had the root canals removed, the infections stopped forever.4
In this situation it would also help to pack powdered bentonite directly onto the swollen, painful areas to draw the irritating toxins out. A combination of powdered bentonite and plantain (another powerful absorber) can be used in a square of cheesecloth or muslin, which is then dampened and placed over the irritated area of the gums.
This seems to work best if you do this before bed and sleep with it under your lips."
The above suggestion for toothache relief is excerpted from www.stephentvedten.com/41_-_Healing_Clay.pdf.
Heating pad/warm water bottle
When using any herbal pack (see Herbal toothache remedies) or similar remedy particularly in cases of abscess/swelling, it can be helpful to increase the action of the herbs for instance by applying a heating pad or warm water bottle to your cheek.
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
In addition to its many dental and other uses (see Baking soda helps teeth & gums), sodium bicarbonate also has been found helpful for toothache (rinse with a watery solution or dab on). Compare "Alkalinizing the mouth" further down.
is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and apparently has given satisfactory improvement in toothache cases as well (background on propolis).
Personally I think the active ingredient in the following suggestion for obtaining temporary toothache relief is the salt (and to a lesser degree perhaps some of the spices):
"...just chew on a piece of bologna for about 30 seconds and then swallow it or spit it out. It only gives you temporarily relief but it does work."
Toothache remedy combining brushing with bicarbonate of soda + salt "toothpaste", followed by salty water + baking soda mouthwash and finally Listerine
Site visitor Trent sent the following recipe against toothache:
"I already use a sort of Saline Solution for stuffy noses. I use 250 ml of lukewarm water with 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodised salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I find the baking soda a must have. I suggest you try adding it to your salty water mixture [Healing Teeth Naturally's number one recommended toothache remedy] next time.
For my toothache I made up a strong saline solution using about 3 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda added to 1 cup of lukewarm water. I also brushed my teeth before the rinse using a baking soda and salt mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda + 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I mixed the baking soda powder and salt around in a tiny bowl. Wet the head of my soft-bristled toothbrush and applied the baking soda + salt mixture to the toothbrush and then brushed my teeth with it. And geez do you salivate a lot. But it sure beats toothpaste with flavours that burn your gums.
After brushing a few times with the full amount of baking soda + salt mixture, I rinsed out my mouth with the lukewarm salt + baking soda mixture and a bit after I used some Listerine. The Ethanol in listerine numbs the gums. When I used to have really sore teeth, I'd get my Mum's Brandy and pour a cup full and then swish it around my mouth and then spit it out. Vodka or stronger alcohol would be better, also cheap alcohol. I don't really know how some of the other ingredients in Listerine help, but that is my experience with alcohol. You should try it. Bicarbonate of soda + salt toothpaste + Salty water + bicarb wash + Listerine is a great remedy! :-)."
Strengthening & cleaning your teeth for toothache relief
When teeth (or one of them) hurt(s) or become(s) sensitive, it can also be a sign that the tooth simply needs strengthening (remineralizing) or cleaning (for instance of food particles trapped between adjacent teeth). For making teeth stronger, see the Food, diet and nutrition section and the page Strengthening teeth and gums: miscellaneous suggested herbal, plant and other remedies. For cleaning teeth in natural, non-toxic ways, see the Dental care and oral hygiene section.
Exposing my teeth and gums directly to the light of the sun helped me calm aching teeth or gums as well. The reason (among other things) is that UV light at wavelengths of 260-280 nm has bactericidal capabilities, i.e. kills bacteria (UV radiation is actually used as a sterilizing technique).
Apple cider vinegar
Used as a mouthwash, apple cider vinegar may help with toothache (as well as clear out sinuses). Gargling with apple cider vinegar may help prevent sore throats. (That said, the acid may/will attack tooth enamel, compare Foods to handle with caution for suggestions how to minimize any possible damage.)
An anecdotal report I have seen says it instantaneously took away the pain of a hurting tooth. For background explanations on MMS, compare Brushing your teeth with MMS.
Eating omega3 fatty acids
Alkalinizing the mouth:
shifting the oral ph balance toward the alkaline for pain unresponsive to other treatment
(Thank you to site visitor AB for this tip. He had serious pain from an inflamed root canal from a deep cavity that formed between two adjoining teeth.)
According to this acid-alkaline foods chart, of all the foods easily available, blackstrap molasses, beet greens and raw spinach carry the greatest potential for shifting the ph balance towards more alkaline thanks to their abundance of alkaline minerals.
So if after applying the salt rinse and/or other pain-quelling measures you still feel a residue of pain, you may wish to deal with it by rolling up a beet or spinach leaf and placing it against the gum where the aching tooth is. You may find that adding the leaf acts as a 'stabilizer' of the effect of a salt rinse, ie extends the time the salt wash works and generally makes the pain very low.
Also after doing a salt rinse, holding organic blackstrap molasses in your mouth for a couple of minutes or smearing some of the molasses on the gums may help to push the pain back for several hours (unless blackstrap molasses' sugar content makes it impossible to put on or near your painful tooth).
Since Baking soda tends to maintain a ph of 8.1 and powerfully neutralizes acids, it may be the most convenient alkalinizing agent to use for city dwellers without easy access to fresh beet or spinach leaves. One can simply tuck some against the area that hurts and (within reason) take it internally.
Last but far from least: alkalizing the body with alkalinizing "power" foods etc.
Since toothache and in fact tooth decay can (and will) often be causally connected to a deficiency in alkaline minerals (overacidity), taking blackstrap molasses (which are full of alkalizing nutrients such as calcium and magnesium) and/or other alkalizing agents in larger amounts may be helpful and heal toothache in the short or long term. Compare Mineral- and trace-element-rich foods.
1 Compare On Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper (incl. a caveat).
2 incl. help with pain from temporo-mandibular joint (jaw joint) disease
3 Original Edition Published September, 1979, by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Facility of the U.S. Department of Energy, Updated and Expanded 1987 Edition, p. 115
4 Compare On the dangers of root canal treatment.
5 Compare Dental fillings: potential toxic timebombs ticking in your mouth?.