Looking for ways to relieve toothache? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I always feel like toothache is one of the worst pains you can endure as the end never feels like it’s in sight. Where we live (Norfolk), it’s almost impossible to get an NHS dental appointment, so home remedies can be really useful. Anxiety is a common reason for avoiding seeing the dentist, too.

Bookmark this for future reference if you’re lucky not to be suffering right now! Here are seven tried and tested ways to relieve toothache.

1. Saltwater Rinse

Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in warm water. Gargle this solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Avoid swallowing as it may make you gag. This rinse will help to reduce inflammation and cleanse the affected area.

2. Clove Oil

Pinch your nose whilst doing this one as it smells bad (or it does to our household anyway!). Apply a small amount of clove oil to a cotton wool pad and dab it onto the affected tooth. The main ingredient in clove oil is eugenol, which acts as a natural painkiller and relieves toothache temporarily.

3. Cold Compress

At the risk of sounding like a school staff member who offers a cold compress as a step up from a wet paper towel, this really can make a huge difference. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and hold it against your cheek near the painful tooth. The cold temperature can numb the area and reduce swelling, providing some instant relief from the pain.

4. Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Non-prescription pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can help alleviate toothache. Follow the recommended dosage instructions and consult a pharmacist if you have any concerns. Of course, if you know for certain reasons that you must avoid these painkillers, e.g. asthmatics should avoid ibuprofen, do not take them unless a medical professional advises otherwise.

5. Tea Bags

Plonk a tea bag in hot water, remove it, and allow it to cool down. Place the cooled tea bag against the tooth to relieve some of the pain. Tea contains tannins that can help numb the area and reduce inflammation.

6. Garlic

Crush a clove of garlic and mix it with a pinch of salt. Apply this mixture directly to the painful tooth. Garlic has natural antibacterial properties and can help reduce toothache symptoms. Avoid if you’re going on a date shortly after.

7. Dental Floss

Carefully clean around the affected tooth using dental floss to remove any food particles or debris that may be causing or worsening the toothache. Proper oral hygiene can help alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications. I find flossing really tricky as I have a small mouth (those who know me in person will probably be laughing now!), but I persevere because it does make a difference.

Remember, these ways to relieve toothache usually only provide temporary relief, but if the pain continues, it is essential to consult a dentist for a proper diagnosis and to treat the underlying cause of toothache. Dental professionals are trained to address dental issues effectively and provide appropriate long-term solutions. Please note that it is always advisable to seek professional dental advice if the toothache persists or if there are accompanying symptoms such as a high temperature, swelling or difficulty swallowing.