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How to use tea bags for a toothache

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether caused by trapped food, an injury or as a result of surgery, toothaches can be an incredibly painful experience. Toothaches won't heal themselves, and aside from going to the dentist, all you can do is attempt to alleviate the pain until you can get to a professional. There are several home remedies for relieving toothache pain, and one of the oldest and most common is using a cool teabag.

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  1. Select a type of tea with high amounts of tannic acid---black and green tea are solid choices. Astringent tannins help to reduce swelling and clot blood.

  2. Place the teabag in a shallow microwaveable dish. Add just enough water to cover the teabag.

  3. Microwave the tea bag for 15 to 30 seconds. Warmness, not hotness, is the goal.

  4. Remove the teabag from the water, and squeeze out the majority of the water.

  5. Pack the warm teabag against the painful tooth and gum. Hold it in place with your bite and lips, if possible, to keep the heat of the bag in your mouth. If it's not possible, bear down on the teabag with your fingers, and keep your mouth as closed as possible.

  6. Remove and discard the teabag once it has cooled. The process can be repeated as often you feel the need, but seeing a dentist about your toothache is paramount.

  7. Tip

    Select a smaller size teabag. For most people, the larger teabags will be difficult to fit into the mouth.


    Avoid chewing while suffering from a toothache to avoid causing more damage to the afflicted area. Also, tea leaves can be bitter and nasty tasting. Try not to puncture the teabag.

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Things You'll Need

  • Teabag
  • Shallow dish
  • Water
  • Microwave

About the Author

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams, a writer, editor, and artist from Atlanta, began her professional writing career in 2007. Following a stint in corporate advertising, she currently works as a glass artist and freelance writer/editor. Her works appear on Web sites like eHow, Healthy Theory, Answerbag and LIVESTRONG.COM. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia.

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