Tea Remedies for Toothache

A toothache requires medical attention because it may signal gingivitis, abscess, deep cavities or other forms of periodontal disease. Only a licensed dentist can provide an accurate diagnosis and suggestions for possible treatment options. Until you are able to find permanent relief, unsweetened herbal teas can provide much-needed relief from tooth pain. Compounds in herbal tea can fight infection, inflammation and other underlying causes of dental pain. Consult a qualified health-care provider before using any tea if you have a medical condition or take medication.

Clove Tea

Known for its spicy aroma and rich flavor, clove tea is as delicious as it is beneficial. According to the National Institutes of Health, clove products may be as effective as benzocaine cream for relieving dental pain. The NIH attributes clove's medicinal properties to eugenol, a chemical constituent capable of numbing skin, reducing inflammation, stopping pain and destroying infectious bacteria. Although the NIH recommends no specific dose of clove tea, a popular toothache remedy involves steeping one teaspoon of clove in one pint of boiling-hot water. When used in large amounts, the NIH warns that clove may have anticoagulant, or blood-thinning, effects. To prevent excessive bleeding, avoid using clove in excess if you expect to have a tooth extraction or other surgery.


The neem tree, a relative of mahogany, has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. Historically, practitioners of Ayurveda recommended neem tea as a treatment for many forms of tooth decay. According to the Neem Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in India, neem tea can relieve periodontal symptoms including infection, tooth decay, gingivitis and gum tenderness. The foundation attributes these effects to natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds found in neem. Although no medical agency offers specific guidelines for neem tea dosage, the Neem Foundation suggests boiling fifty tea leaves in one cup of water for twenty minutes. This astringent tea can be refrigerated for later use.

Green Tea

Globally renowned for its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, unsweetened green tea can help to relieve a toothache. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea's antibacterial properties may help to stop or slow the development of cavities 1. Additionally, the UMMC acknowledges green tea's use as an astringent, to control bleeding and help heal wounds. As a mouth wash, green tea may speed recovery from painful dental infections such as gingivitis or abscess. Green tea itself is associated with few side effects, but it is prudent to use decaffeinated products if you are sensitive to stimulants or taking medication. Tell your dentist about any complementary therapies you have used for relieving your toothache.