Tea Bag for Toothache. How and Why it Works

When you’re dealing with a toothache, the pain can be debilitating and leave you feeling helpless. You may have tried multiple over-the-counter and home remedies such as a salt water rinse, cold compress, clove oil, and even alcohol such as whisky. But have you tried a tea bag?

When it comes to finding a natural and effective way to relieve tooth pain, tea bags can be a surprisingly useful tool. It might sound strange, but the humble and convenient teabag can actually help to ease the discomfort of a toothache, But is this a valid solution to tooth pain?

In the rest of this article, we will examine how teabag can be used to cure a toothache as well as why it works.

How to Use the Tea Bag

There is no official way to use a tea bag to relieve your toothache. However, most recommend the following steps:

  1. Start by placing the tea bag in a cup for hot water for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Once the tea bag has steeped, remove it from from the water and let it cool. Some recommend chilling the tea bag in ice water or the freezer to let it cool or freeze. This gives the tea bag an extra cooling effect.
  3. Take out the tea bag and place it directly on the tooth or the gum area where the toothache is.
  4. Let the tea bag rest on the sore spot for up to 30 minutes. Give enough time for the tea bag to work its ‘magic’.
  5. Remove the tea bag and rinse your mouth with warm water. It is also suggested that you gargle a cup of warm salt water to remove any possible residue from the tea bag.
  6. Repeat the above steps once a day until the toothache is gone.

It is important that you do not use the tea bag more than once or even use it to brew a cup of tea; you run the risk of getting an infection in the area where the toothache is or even a tummy ache. Also, you should always use a fresh, clean tea bag instead of a used or old tea bag as they may not be as effective as the former.

Now you may wonder, will any teabag works?

The answer is yes, any teabag will work. Most recommend a peppermint teabag due to the antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties of the mint. Peppermint also contains a numbing effect that will help to soothe the toothache.

You should also use a black or green tea bag as these tea leaves contain a higher concentration of flavonoids. This is widely documented in several scientific studies including here and here.

That said, most tea bags will work as they all contain the necessary essential ingredients that will help to soothe the pain caused by a toothache.

Why It Works

There are several reasons why a simple tea bag can help to alleviate pain associated with gum swelling or gum infection.

Firstly, most tea contain tannic acid, a type of tannins that can be used to stop bleeding and relieve soreness. In the olden days, tannic acid was used as an antidote against poisons. Today, they are mostly used topically to treat cold sores, fever blisters, and stop bleeding. According to a study done in 2019, tannis have been shown to be shorten the clotting time and clot strength of whole blood coagulation in the event of a bleeding.

Adding on, tannic acid contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that can kill bacteria and prevent an infection.

Last but not least, the tea bag can help to soak up any pus that may be discharged from an abscess in the tooth or gumline.

However, while this home remedy may provide temporary relief, it is not a substitute for professional dental care. Toothaches can be caused by various dental problems, including cavities, gum disease, abscesses, or a cracked tooth. You should always see a dentist to diagnose the cause of the toothache and receive proper treatment. Self-medicating with a tea bag for a toothache may only delay proper treatment and lead to a potential worsening of the toothache.


Toothaches can be a painful and disruptive problem, but it is important to approach them in the right way. While a tea bag has been shown and proven to be a working and cost-effective method to soothe your toothache, it is not a recommended or effective solution for treating the underlying cause. The best way to treat a toothache is to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Toothaches can be caused by various dental problems, and the only way to ensure proper treatment is to have a professional assess and diagnose the issue.

Last of all, taking care of your teeth and visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent toothaches and ensure the health of your smile.