If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know that they’re no fun. Not to mention that they rarely happen at a good time. Nighttime toothaches are especially problematic because you have to wait until the next day to see a dentist. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get relief from the pain! Keep reading for the last installment in a series of 3 blogs on using simple at-home remedies to treat a nighttime toothache. With these tried-and-true strategies, you’ll not only feel better fast but also get a good night’s sleep!
Clove has been used in dentistry since the 1800s for its ability to relieve pain and inflammation. It contains a compound called eugenol that acts as an analgesic to numb soft tissues like the gums. It’s also antibacterial, making it a great way to speed up healing.
Clove is quite strong and “spicy,” so it should be used with caution (and only for adults). You can either use whole cloves or clove oil, which can typically be found at drugstores, pharmacies, and health food stores. If using oil, apply 1 drop to the tooth and surrounding gum tissue with a cotton swab. Or, you could put 1-2 drops in a glass of lukewarm water and swish with it.
If you’d like to use whole cloves, make a paste by first grinding them and soaking them in water. Then apply a small amount of paste to the tooth. Alternatively, you can simply place a whole clove near the tooth. Keep it in your mouth for about 10-20 minutes before spitting it out.
Garlic is something you may already have on hand. It contains a compound called allicin, which is highly antibacterial. Since a cavity is actually caused by bacteria, garlic is a good way to target the source of the pain.
If you don’t like garlic, this may not be a practical remedy. But if you do, cut a small clove in half and chew it slightly. Let it sit on the chewing surface of the tooth for 10-20 minutes before spitting it out.
3. Peppermint Tea
The active compound in peppermint is menthol, which has a mild analgesic or numbing effect. For temporary relief from a toothache, you can either apply a wet, lukewarm peppermint tea bag to the area or swish with lukewarm peppermint tea several times. You can also apply a small amount of peppermint oil with a cotton swab. Since it’s very concentrated, you only need 1 drop.
While these 3 remedies can go a long way towards pain management and help you get to sleep, don’t forget to call a dentist right away as soon as a toothache develops. Although they’ll be closed at night, leave a message so they can call you first thing in the morning to schedule the first available appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Clifton Baldwin has been a family dentist for over 30 years and is dedicated to giving every patient a positive experience in the dental chair. Over the years, he’s treated countless toothaches and always helps his patients feel better fast. If you’re experiencing a toothache or have any questions, he can be reached via his website.