Home Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain: What Works

Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
Last Modified:

Table of Contents

  1. Why You Get Wisdom Tooth Pain
  2. Home Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain
  3. Saltwater Rinse
  4. Baking Soda Paste
  5. Peppermint
  6. Aloe and Clove Oil
  7. Aspirin
  8. Cold and Heat Therapy
  9. Garlic and Ginger
  10. Hypericum/St. John’s Wort
  11. Are These Long-Term Solutions?
  12. References

A toothache can ruin your day in a hurry, and while cavities and other dental damage can hurt, little compares to the discomfort of wisdom teeth erupting from beneath your gums. That type of pain can leave you scrambling for relief before you have time to talk to your dentist.

While having a qualified dentist examine your mouth, gums, teeth and jaw is vital, there are a variety of home remedies you may consider employing to alleviate any suffering when wisdom teeth hurt.

Why Do You Get Wisdom Tooth Pain?

Found at the very back of your mouth behind your molars, your wisdom teeth are likely to grow in your late teenage years or early 20s. For many people, though, there simply isn’t space in their mouth for more teeth.

This means that wisdom teeth often come in at an angle. For others, wisdom teeth may not fully erupt through the gumline to become teeth that feel like your other molars. When either of these happen your wisdom teeth are impacted, which can cause pain.

It’s important to note that even if you do have space for wisdom teeth and there is no impaction, the process itself can hurt.

Home Remedies for Wisdom Tooth Pain

When your wisdom teeth hurt you are likely looking for immediate relief. The most common at-home remedies for wisdom teeth pain include:

  1. Saltwater rinse

  2. Baking soda paste

  3. Peppermint

  4. Aloe & clove oil

  5. Aspirin

  6. Cold & heat therapy

  7. Garlic & ginger

  8. Hypericum/St. John's Wort

Saltwater Rinse

Salt water can kill bacteria in your mouth and reduce swelling, making it a reasonable home remedy for dental pain. It’s also safe since salt is something that’s safe to consume.

A solution of a few teaspoons of salt to about 12-ounces of warm water is often recommended. To use, you simply swish the solution around in your mouth, targeting the painful area.

Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is often recommended for getting rid of bacteria in your mouth. In fact, it’s in many toothpastes, making it a safe choice for at-home care.

To use it, simply make a thick paste with water before applying it to the painful area.


Peppermint, particularly peppermint tea bags, are a commonly touted home remedy for dental pain. This can be effective for mild discomfort since peppermint does have naturally occurring soothing properties.

A warm tea bag that has been allowed to cool slightly may also help reduce discomfort when held against the surface of the painful area.

Aloe and Clove Oil

Known to have antibacterial properties, aloe vera may help relieve some minor discomfort when you’re dealing with wisdom tooth pain. It’s also safe to eat, so you don’t have to worry about using it in your mouth.

Along with aloe, clove oil is a particularly popular home remedy for dental pain, as it may reduce discomfort and inflammation when dabbed on with a cotton swab. If you’re in a pinch, you can also use clove powder from your kitchen pantry. (And if all you have are cloves, you can grind them up to make a powder.)


Over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended by dentists to help manage pain. Ibuprofen in particular can help reduce inflammation.

Take aspirin, ibuprofen and any other pain reliever as intended. Never apply them topically, as they can damage your teeth and gums.

Cold and Heat Therapy

Cold and heat therapy are simple, easy ways to reduce swelling, tenderness and inflammation throughout your body. It stands to reason that cold and heat may be able to help with wisdom tooth pain as well.

Alternating cold and heat can work, but many people find more relief simply through apply something warm like a heating pad to their jaw. For some, cold may aggravate the problem.

Garlic and Ginger

Imbued with antibacterial properties, garlic also possesses some pain relieving properties. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can also be helpful when you’re dealing with a difficult toothache.

To use garlic and ginger, simply placing a small amount inside your mouth near the painful area is often recommended. Ginger tea bags that have been brewed and allowed to cool can also be used.

Hypericum/St. John’s Wort

If you follow a homeopathic medical regimen, one product to try is Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s wort. This is a homeopathic remedy for nerve pain.

Although over time it has been offered as a remedy for back pain, research indicates it can be helpful for other sorts of pain. You can usually find these powders or pills at a local health food store.

Are These Long-Term Solutions to Wisdom Tooth Pain?

Home remedies can be effective at relieving minor dental discomfort when your wisdom teeth are coming in. Unfortunately, they aren’t long-term solutions and should only be used when you must wait for proper dental treatment.

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you’ll need to visit your dentist for a consultation. Your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up appointment to remove some or all of your wisdom teeth.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.