How to Use Tea Bag For Toothache
As a parent to three children, I always appreciate finding home remedies that work well (and quickly) and are budget friendly. I discovered this home remedy for a painful tooth during our year-long backpacking trip around Asia when the kids were just 6, 5 and 2 and learned how to use a tea bag for toothache.
Finding a good dental office or drug store, or getting an emergency appointment wasn’t always easy so I made sure to take a list of natural remedies for everything from grazes to temporary pain relief for an aching tooth.
It goes without saying that it is always a good idea to address dental pain by booking a dental appointment. A sore tooth could be a sign of a fairly serious underlying cause.
Common causes of painful and sensitive teeth include: bacterial infections leading to an infected tooth, oral wounds, stuck food particles, gum disease, impacted wisdom teeth, an abscessed tooth, a broken tooth, decay at the root of the tooth and more.
If this is the case no amount of natural antiseptic or natural toothache remedies are going to work as a permanent solution, especially if surgery or a tooth extraction is needed.
The remedies I tried, including how to use a tea bag for toothache, are OK for short-term relief while you get to a qualified dentist. I am not a health professional, I am simply sharing what worked for me as a parent when I didn’t have immediate access to good professional dental care.
As well as the tea bag trick, I will share some other tips I discovered that can provide temporary relief from a sore throat, headache and upset stomach or nausea. If you’re looking for relief from tooth pain, scroll to the bottom for how to use a tea bag for toothache, including a link to what you’ll need if you don’t have it at home.
Natural Remedy For Sore Throat
Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat. Salt works as both a natural anesthetic and natural disinfectant, and it is easily accessibly pretty much everywhere you go. It’s also super affordable!
To make this saltwater rinse/gargle to help get rid of harmful bacteria in the throat and provide a numbing sensation, simply mix a glass of slightly cooled (but still warm) water with half a teaspoon of salt, stir to dissolve and gargle the saltwater rinse for 20 seconds. Ensure you spit the salt water rinse out as swallowing a lot of salt is dangerous.
Doing this a few times a day should act as a numbing agent for the affected area. Another natural remedy for a sore throat is to suck ice cubes, if you don’t have salt on hand.
Natural Remedy for a Headache
When we get a headache, one of the things that happens is that the blood vessels in our head dilate. Applying an ice pack to the painful area for at least a couple of minutes is thought to help constrict these vessels, reduce the excess blood flow, and therefore ease the symptoms.
If you don’t have an ice pack, any cold compresses (a tea towel or dishcloth put in the freezer or fridge for a while, or soaked in cold water) can also reduce the pain signals a small amount.
Natural Remedy for Upset Stomach / Nausea
This is something I saw for the first time while on a rickety boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sri Lanka. It was my daughter’s 7th birthday, and we were on a trip to spot Blue Whales (you can read here about our Sri Lanka Blue Whale Trip).
My daughter got quite sea sick and (TMI warning!) threw up over the side, and one of the men on the boat (who had obviously seen this a million times before) came and started vigorously rubbing her temples with peppermint oil. This turned out to be a blend of pure peppermint essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, and it worked a treat.
He also gave out peppermint leaves to chew for some of the adults who weren’t feeling too well. I would highly recommend keeping peppermint oil in your natural first-aid kit thanks to its soothing and medicinal properties.
Natural Remedy For Toothache- How To Use Tea Bag For Toothache
As our youngest was just 2 on our backpacking trip, she had some teeth come through while we were away. We put peppermint tea bags in a cup of hot water or warm water for 2 minutes and then allowed the warm tea bags to cool before placing the wet tea bag on the affected area for 2-5 minutes.
It is super simple and easy, and something you can do pretty much anywhere (plus you get a delicious cup of tea after, rich in tannic acid antioxidants!). The chemical compounds in peppermint have the same effect on our brains as when we lick something cold, which is why it produces a pain-relieving ‘cooling’ sensation.
Other natural remedies for toothache include:
- Using the saltwater rinse that I mentioned for a sore throat (swash it around your mouth instead of gargling)
- Applying drops of clove oil to the area that has toothache pain- this needs to be done via a cotton ball, not directly onto the affected tooth. It also should never be swallowed so be very careful if using on children. An active ingredient in clove oil is Eugenol, which is an effective way to reduce pain if you can’t get over the counter pain relievers.
- Chewing a garlic clove, which has antibacterial properties, can also help with toothache. This also has other health benefits such as reducing blood pressure- although you may want to follow it up with mint to neutralise the bad breath from chewing a clove of fresh garlic!
- Applying vanilla extract to the affected area for toothache relief – for best results ensure this is pure extract and not ‘essence’.
- Making a paste from water and cayenne pepper and applying it to the tooth and gum area. Cayenne is known for its anti-inflammatory properties
- If you can’t access any of the above, a hydrogen peroxide rinse made from equal parts 3 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed in a cup of warm water and used as a mouthwash may also help in place of over the counter medication.
How To Use Tea Bag For Toothache Conclusion
So that’s how a used tea bag can save the day! Do remember to seek immediate treatment for tooth pain as it could be an indicator of tooth decay or other serious issues. You should also check your national health provider website for more useful information, such as NHS online.
If you’re interested in how we managed some of our other healthcare needs while we backpacked with little ones, check out our posts on preventing mosquito bites and Zika!