what to drink when you have a toothache

“What to Drink when you have a toothache?” Finding beverages that provide comfort rather than cause further pain can seem challenging.

However, certain drinks contain properties that can actually help soothe dental discomfort and promote healing.

This article explores beneficial beverages to consume when experiencing a toothache, from herbal teas to milk and broths.

We’ll discuss how ingredients like salt water, aloe vera, chamomile, and magnesium aid in reducing inflammation and oral irritation.

With the right fluids, you can temper the misery of tooth pain until professional treatment is obtained.

When faced with the throbbing, relentless ache of tooth pain, reaching for something to drink can provide temporary relief through hydration, nutrition, or numbing effects.

However, some beverages may worsen the situation based on temperature, acidity, carbonation, or other factors.

Here are some tooth-friendly options to sip when you have a toothache:

1. Salt Water

 Rinse Swishing gently with warm salt water can have a soothing effect by reducing inflammation of the gums and oral tissues.

Salt acts as a natural disinfectant against bacteria, helping prevent infection which could exacerbate the toothache.

Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds at a time. This can provide relief after meals.

2. Herbal Tea

 Teas made with anti-inflammatory herbs like chamomile, clove, peppermint, and green tea contain compounds that ease dental discomfort.

Chamomile has a mild sedative effect to relax muscles while peppermint cools irritation. The antioxidants in green tea combat bacteria.

Just avoid scalding hot temperatures. Brew the tea, let it cool slightly, then sip slowly.

3. Milk

A glass of cold milk can provide soothing relief thanks to its smooth texture and nutritional content. The cool temperature momentarily numbs, while the calcium, protein, and vitamins in milk support tooth enamel health.

Opt for low or non-fat milk, as the fat content can coat the mouth and exacerbate discomfort.

4. Bone Broth

Warm, mineral-rich bone broth made by simmering bones of chicken, beef, or fish contains collagen, glucosamine, and amino acids that reduce inflammation.

Sipping this mildly salty broth can be incredibly soothing. You can also add soft, non-acidic vegetables like carrots or celery. Avoid bones from pork or shellfish.

5. Water

While plain water may seem too simple, it’s an excellent way to stay hydrated without consuming anything acidic, carbonated, or sugary that could worsen your tooth pain.

Drink water regularly at room temperature to prevent irritation and flush out debris. Infusing water with mint leaves adds a refreshing hint of flavor.

6. Aloe Vera Juice

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera in juice form can help minimize swelling and discomfort when sipped regularly.

Look for purified, additive-free aloe juice to avoid excess sugar. The soothing gel inside fresh aloe leaves can also be directly applied to irritated gums.

7. Coconut Water

Naturally occurring electrolytes like potassium and magnesium in coconut water promote oral health and help reduce inflammation.

Its hydrating quality also prevents dry mouth. Refrigerate coconut water before drinking for an extra soothing chilled beverage without harsh acidity.

8. Green Tea

Both the warm temperature and antioxidant content of green tea can ease tooth pain. Compounds like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) fight bacteria while the mild heat relieves tension in jaw muscles.

Brew your tea then allow it to cool to a tolerable level before sipping.

9. Wheatgrass

Juice Wheatgrass juice contains antibacterial compounds that combat oral infections which may be causing your toothache.

It also provides essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium deficient in a tooth pain diet. Consume 1-2 ounces maximum per day.

10. Vegetable Broth

Warm broth simmered from non-acidic vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach or potatoes can be sipped as a soothing liquid meal.

The broth provides hydration and nutrients without irritating nerves. You can also add soft cooked grains like rice noodles. This is an ideal option after dental surgery.

The key is identifying fluids that reduce inflammation, fight bacteria, supply nutrients, and avoid exacerbating damage.

While over-the-counter pain relievers and topical gels can temporarily numb discomfort, visiting a dentist promptly for diagnosis and treatment is crucial, especially with severe pain.

Incorporate more tooth-friendly beverages alongside soft, mild foods to make coping with a toothache a bit easier.

Anything too hot, cold, carbonated, acidic, or sugary has the potential to worsen nerve irritation and damage.

However, completely restricting your fluid intake is not advisable either, as staying hydrated is crucial. Here are some beverages that are best avoided when you have a toothache and why:

1. Cold Beverages

While a chilled drink may seem refreshing, anything extremely cold can trigger throbbing, shooting pain signals when nerves are exposed.

The abrupt temperature change causes contraction of blood vessels in the tooth, increasing pressure. Even drinks without harsh acids like water or milk can cause discomfort when excessively cold.

2. Hot Beverages

On the other end of the spectrum, piping hot beverages above 140°F also spell trouble for a sore tooth. Heat causes expansion of the tooth’s inner pulp and fluid, placing stress on already inflamed nerves.

Coffee, tea, and soups are common culprits. Allow beverages to cool down for several minutes before attempting to drink.

3. Sugary Drinks

One of the most common causes of toothache is a cavity from decay, especially when concentrated sugar sits on the enamel.

Sodas, sweet tea, juice cocktails, and other sugary beverages feed the plaque bacteria and can worsen inflammation of the tooth’s pulp. Opt for sugar-free versions or avoid them altogether.

4. Acidic Drinks

Beverages with a highly acidic pH, like citrus juices, sodas, and certain alcohols, can irritate the tooth and surrounding gums.

Acidic drinks strip away protective enamel, exacerbating sensitivity and pain. They also promote erosion, which can expose underlying dentin and nerves.

5. Alcoholic Beverages

In addition to being acidic, alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and cocktails can irritate the soft tissues in the mouth and dehydrate the body.

Alcohol also diminishes the natural saliva flow needed to neutralize acids and wash away irritants left behind by certain foods and drinks.

6. Coffee

 The combined effects of hot temperature, acidity, and ability to stain the teeth make coffee a drink to avoid with a toothache.

The tannic acid wears away at enamel, while the heat intensifies throbbing nerves. Even iced coffee can be too acidic.

7. Carbonated Drinks

 The bubbles and fizz in carbonated sodas, seltzer, and tonic waters can provide enough pressure to aggravate pain signals from an irritated nerve.

If you are experiencing sensitivity due to a cracked tooth or recent dental work, refrain from consuming any sparkling drinks.

8. Tomato Juice

While tomato juice provides nutritional benefits like vitamin C, its acidity makes it a drink that can worsen tooth and gum pain.

Unless heavily diluted with water or milk, opt for lower-acid alternatives when dealing with discomfort.

9. Fruit Juices

Even without added sugars, naturally occurring fructose in orange juice, apple juice, and other fruit juices bathes the teeth in erosive acids.

The combination of acid and sugar is doubly damaging. Consume only minimally diluted juices or avoid them altogether.

10. Energy Drinks

Often packed with both added sugars and acids, energy drinks are a clear no-go with a toothache. The combination leads to plaque growth, enamel erosion, and moisture loss in the mouth.

Water is a far better choice for hydration.

11. High Tannin

Teas Black teas, as well as some herbal varieties like chamomile, contain tannic acid that can temporarily stain teeth and alter pH balance.

While warm tea can provide comfort, avoid heavily tannic varieties if you have exposed nerves or significant staining.

The pulsing, throbbing agony seems unrelenting, making each minute drag by excruciatingly slowly.

When over-the-counter painkillers fail to provide lasting relief, are there any home remedies you can try to stop tooth pain fast without a dental visit?

While there is no substitute for professional dental care, certain at-home treatments may temporarily alleviate discomfort and inflammation when you need immediate pain relief.

However, these should not be considered cures for the underlying condition causing your toothache. Here are some home remedies that may provide temporary respite:

1. Salt Water Rinse

One of the simplest home treatments is dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swishing this solution around the mouth for up to 30 seconds before spitting it out.

This salt water rinse helps draw out fluid from swollen gums, reducing inflammation and discomfort. Salt also has antiseptic properties to cleanse bacteria.

For maximum effectiveness, rinse after meals and before bedtime.

2. Cold Compress

Applying something frozen against the cheek next to the aching tooth can constrict nearby blood vessels, minimizing fluid pressure on the tooth’s nerves.

Wrap ice cubes or a frozen gel pack in a washcloth or small towel, then hold it on the outside of your face for 10-15 minutes. The cold temperature numbs nerve endings, blocking pain signals.

3. Clove Oil

Derived from clove plants, clove oil contains eugenol, which serves as a local anesthetic and antibacterial agent.

Soak a cotton swab in a drop of clove oil and gently apply it to the painful tooth for quick analgesia. Be careful not to excessively swallow clove oil as large amounts can be toxic.

4. Peppermint Tea Bags

Menthol and other compounds in peppermint have a numbing quality that can temporarily reduce dental discomfort.

After brewing a strong cup of peppermint tea, allow the tea bag to cool in the fridge before pressing it against the affected tooth and gum for several minutes. The cooling effect eases irritation.

5. Garlic Paste

Crushing raw garlic releases allicin, an organosulfur with potent antibacterial effects that can help fight oral infections causing tooth pain.

Mix crushed garlic with a pinch of salt, creating a paste to apply directly to the tooth for rapid relief. Rinse well afterward to avoid lingering garlic breath.

6. Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract contains alcohol, allowing it to penetrate nerve endings and provide pain-dampening effects. Soak a cotton swab and gently dab on the sore area.

Avoid using too much, as excess alcohol can burn and irritate tissues. The numbing is immediate but short-lived.

7. OTC Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium can temporarily alleviate a toothache by blocking inflammatory prostaglandins and pain signals to the brain.

Always follow dosage instructions and avoid combining multiple medications without medical guidance.

Useful Links:

Oral Analgesics for Acute Dental Pain

A Dental Pain Study to Test the Effectiveness of a New Pain Reliever Medicine

A study of the patient experience of toothache