Finger massage

Before knowing about salt water, I often used my fingers to rub and massage the achy spot, often combined with applying tea tree oil topically on the sore tooth or gum, both of which gave a measure of relief.

Cold & ice

Ice should numb the nerve's sensitivity to pain, while the cold also helps reduce the swelling that may often cause the pain (compare On the causes of toothache pain). When you have an infection, applying cold treatments should reduce swelling & discomfort in the affected area.

Toothaches not caused by infection apparently worsen with cold but can be alleviated with moist heat applications (hot water bottle etc., see Exercise & increasing blood and lymph flow for toothache relief).

Ice cold and/or tap water

Swishing ice cold water on the side of the mouth around the painful tooth reportedly diminishes pain instantly ("absolutely eases the pain"). While the effect may be only temporary, this simple reported "wonder worker" can be repeated, swallowed, and likely has no side effects.

Bathing the painful area with freshly drawn tap water continuously (whenever the pain returned which was about every minute) got rid of moments of utter agony for a friend of mine.

Ice inside the mouth

Try holding a piece of ice on the side of your mouth that hurts, chew on it if possible or suck it. Repeat as needed. Cold or ice water can work the same way.

Ice massage

I’ve also seen ice massage recommended to ease toothaches (rubbing an ice cube into the painful area) to numb the nerve endings (careful, it could also aggravate the pain).

Ice pack

Pressing an ice pack, bag of ice or other cold substance (look in your fridge!) on your cheek or face close to the center of the dental pain can give temporary relief.

Running water

Hopefully you won't need this tip because you have been helped by salt water or any of the many other toothache remedies listed on this site, but here is an additional suggestion for successfully easing extreme pain: find a sink with a water hose and spray water directly on the achy spot until the ache has eased.

Nutmeg plus mustard and sesame/coconut oil[1]

"Grate and powder nutmeg fine. Add one-fourth of a teaspoon of this powder to a teaspoon of warm mustard, sesame or coconut oil. Soak a cottonwool swab in this and place it on the hurting tooth. Keep it for a while and then remove it. Gargle with warm water. Nutmeg has a narcotic action, therefore this should be done only once a day for 1 to 2 days. ... Overdosage is dangerous as individual reactions vary and may lead to toxic effects-hallucination, restlessness, convulsions, etc."[2]

Yarrow (achillea millefolium)

Yarrow root is also an anesthetic. To relieve tooth pain, apply the fresh root or leaves to the gums or teeth.

If you value this content and wish to support my work (all donations are gratefully received), please donate:

For saving me the Paypal fees and/or for a way to donate in many different currencies, please click here.


1 Coconut oil in itself seems to be good against toothache.
2 Found at

All remedies