Pain, oftentimes acute and severe, is caused by a single tooth or teeth or gums.

What Is A Toothache?

From Modern Western Medicine

Most toothaches are cause by dental caries (or decay), but a fractured tooth or a deep, unlined filling may also cause inflammation and pain of gums and teeth (see Periodontitis). Sometimes a toothache can be caused by sinusitis pain, which is being transferred to a molar or premolar.

Analgesic drugs are used to provide temporary relief until one sees their dentist.

From Traditional Medicine

Dental caries are yet another diminution of health caused by a modern diet, rich in refined sugars, grain products, artificial ingredients, and protein—all of which can increase acid content of mouth, rob the body of minerals, and bring on tooth decay.

The natural remedies below can be used to diminish pain and strengthen gums and nerves until a dentist can be seen.


Food to Eat (high in calcium)

  • Seaweeds
  • Raw carrots (for teething children)
  • Leafy, green vegetables
  • Sardines
  • Amaranth grain (a soft grain)
  • Parsley
  • Watercress and turnip greens
  • Garbanzo beans


While in pain, eat grains and vegetables prepared in tamari or miso broth, which is soothing and relaxing to the entire body.

Foods to Avoid (which inhibit calcium absorption)

  • Sugar
  • The nightshade vegetables: spinach, chard, beet greens, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers
  • Coffee
  • Soft drinks
  • Protein excesses, especially meat
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Excess salt



  • Oil of cloves: Drop a little directly on the tooth and gum, or put it on a piece of cotton and pack it next to the ache. (Do not use with homeopathy as this could have a counter effect on remedies.) Very effective.
  • Rub an ice cube into a V-shaped area where the bones of the thumb and forefinger meet for about 5 to 7 minutes, on the same side of the body that the toothache is on. This works by sending rubbing impulses along the same nerve pathways that the toothache pain would normally travel. Since the pathways can only carry one signal at a time, rubbing outweighs the pain. Usually highly effective.
  • Rinse mouth vigorously with body-temperature water; this will dislodge any trapped food that might cause toothache
  • Floss gently to get little bits of food out from between teeth
  • Pour some whiskey over the sore tooth. Your gums will absorb the alcohol and numb the pain
  • Rinse with salty water after each meal and at bedtime


Herbs to Treat Toothache

The following formula will improve the condition of the teeth:

1 part horsetail

1 part oat straw

1 part kombu seaweed or kelp powder

½ part lobelia

Simmer each 1 oz. of formula in 1 pint water for 25 minutes and drink ½ cup two or three times a day. At the end of every three weeks, stop for a week. If this is taken every winter, there will be noticeable improvement.


These remedies are to relieve discomfort while waiting to get to a dentist. They can be given every 5 minutes for up to 10 doses.

  • Plantaga 6C: if tooth is very nervy, is aggravated by cold air and the slightest pressure but feels better when eating; if teeth generally feel sensitive, as though they are exposed, or mouth is full of saliva
  • Coffea 6C: if toothache is made worse by heat and hot food and relieved by applying ice
  • Chamomilla 6C: if pain is unbearable, and is made worse by cold air, warm food and drink, and by coffee at night
  • Staphisagria 6C: if severe toothache is aggravated by cold air, food and the slightest pressure; if there is a drawing or tearing pain; if the cheek is red and swollen; if a bad tooth is black and disintegrating    
  • Pulsatilla 6C: if pain is unbearable, especially with hot food or drink, and is relieved by cold water; if person is not thirsty at all; if it feels better in open air
  • Arnica 30C: for pain after filling or extraction
  • Apis 30C: if gums feel tight and swollen, or toothache burns and stings