Using Baking Soda for a Toothache
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you (learn more)
Anyone who has ever been awakened by a toothache or broken a tooth on a Saturday night knows the importance of finding pain relief while you figure out how to permanently solve your tooth problem. While some toothaches stem from simple issues that resolve with some at-home treatment, others need a dentist’s attention, which is not always readily available. How can you stop tooth pain, treat infections, and make yourself more comfortable at home? One simple ingredient could be the answer to your problems.
Your mouth is a complex system of teeth, gums, soft tissue, and bone. You can experience pain that comes from a variety of sources, including trauma, infection, abscesses, broken teeth, cavities, and much more. Infection is common in the mouth because it is a prime location for bacteria to grow and flourish. One of the reasons we need to brush and floss regularly is to remove the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
An abscess is a common type of mouth infection. Bacteria enter your tooth from decay or because it is chipped or broken, and once the tooth becomes infected, pus accumulates either near the root or at the gumline. The tooth then swells, causing pain. The infection needs to be treated quickly so that it does not spread to other parts of your mouth or the bones in your face.
Cracked or broken teeth can also cause pain, which should be managed until you can see a dentist to repair the damage. Toothache pain from this type of problem often spread and causes headaches, earaches, or other types of pain. Wisdom teeth also generate a great deal of pain while they are breaking the skin or because they grow sideways or become infected.
Whether your toothache pain is from a broken or chipped tooth, and infection, a cavity, or some other problem, relieving your pain is an essential first step in treatment. You can use a simple product, one you likely have at home right now, to reduce your pain, prevent the spread of infection, and help treat the cause of your toothache.
Baking Soda for Toothaches
Baking soda is one of the most recommended at-home treatments for a toothache. Not only can baking soda provide pain relief, but it also has potent antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent choice for dealing with some of the leading causes of mouth pain. In fact, the leading cause of toothache pain is Streptococcus mutans, and baking soda is highly effective at killing this bacterium.
One reason for baking soda’s effectiveness against microbes is its alkaline pH level. Most bacteria thrive in a highly acidic environment. By introducing baking soda to your mouth, you raise the pH of your oral environment, making it less hospitable to these invaders.
Baking soda is also useful for reducing inflammation, which can cause toothache pain to become worse. The alkaline pH of this product is responsible for the mechanism, which reduces the inflammatory compounds in the area and lowers swelling, which can cause pain.
Baking soda is a common ingredient in oral care products, including toothpaste, so you know that it is safe to use inside the mouth, as well. You can feel good about using this product to treat your family’s toothache problems until you can address the source of the problem with your dentist.
How to Use Baking Soda to Treat Toothaches
There are several ways that you can use baking soda to treat your toothache at home. Each of these methods is described below, and you should select the one that works best for your particular problem.
- The first method is to create a baking soda paste. You can use this paste to treat swelling on a tooth or at the gumline. Take a small bowl and add one tablespoon of baking powder. Slowly add warm water, a few drops at a time, until a thick paste forms. Use a cotton swab to place the paste on the painful area and allow it to sit for at least ten minutes. Rinse your mouth when you are done.
- You can also create a mouth rinse using baking soda. Dissolve one tablespoon of the compound in one cup of warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth for two minutes, then spit and rinse with more warm water.
- You can also apply baking soda directly to your affected tooth by soaking a cotton swab or ball in warm water, squeezing out the excess water, then dipping it into a small bowl that contains baking soda. Place the cotton on the affected area and hold it there for several minutes.
- Some people find relief by mixing their favorite toothpaste with a small amount of baking soda. Place a dab of the toothpaste on the painful area and allow it to sit for several minutes to relieve pain.
- Another popular version of this home remedy is to create a baking soda- salt water rinse. Start with one cup of warm water. Add one tablespoon of baking soda and then add a large pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve the ingredients thoroughly, then use to swish your mouth out several times per day. Salt water is also an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory solution.
These procedures can be repeated several times per day to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and help you feel more comfortable.
Tips for Dealing with Toothache Pain
If your tooth is infected, cracked, chipped, or if you have an abscess, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Treating toothache pain at home is wonderful, but it is important that you address the source of the pain, which often requires professional help.
If your toothache gets significantly worse or is accompanied by swelling in your neck or around your eyes, or if your throat becomes swollen, making eating, drinking, or breathing difficulty, you should seek immediate medical attention.
While you are waiting to see your dentist, you can minimize your toothache pain and discomfort by eating soft foods like soups, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and scrambled eggs. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods or beverages, and stay away from highly spicy, acidic, or sugary items.
Sleep with your head elevated, which decreases the blood pressure in your head and can help reduce your pain at night. Be sure to keep using proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, which helps to control the spread of bacteria in your mouth.