Tooth pain, or odontalgia, is a very common dental problem that can cause significant discomfort and distress for patients. The most common type of tooth pain is caused by inflammation within the pulp and periodontal ligament space of the tooth. Inflammation can be triggered by either an acute injury to the tooth or chronic disease such as advanced dental caries (tooth decay) or periodontitis (gum disease).

The pulp is located deep inside your teeth and contains nerve fibers, connective tissue and blood vessels. When exposed to bacteria from untreated decay or gum infection, the soft tissue dies causing an inflammatory response in which white blood cells are triggered to defend your body against this organism. This causes swelling and pressure which can stretch the periodontal ligaments and cause severe pain.

What is tooth root inflammation?

Inflammation of the tooth and tooth root is usually caused by untreated tooth decay.

When the bacteria are only on the outer layer of the tooth, you usually don’t feel pain.

caries progression

The progression of tooth decay – when the bacteria reach the root of the tooth (center) it becomes painful .

However, when tooth decay reaches the inside of the tooth and affects nerves & blood vessels, it is accompanied by very severe toothache.

Reading Tip:If you want to learn more about the topic, then it’s best to check out this comprehensive guide to all things tooth root inflammation.

How does dental root inflammation make itself felt?

The affected person usually complains of a strong, throbbing pain. The tooth is sensitive to pressure, cold, and heat.

The cheeks may swell and pus may form in the gums. The pain may develop into a constant ache.

dental root inflammation cool

When you have a tooth root infection, you should therefore always consult a dentist. Even this guide does not replace medical advice.

  1. However, it may happen that a dentist is difficult to reach, such as at night, on a weekend or when you are on vacation.
  2. Or perhaps you have already had a root canal treatment & want to cool the swelling after surgery as gently as possible and prevent further pain.

Then you have a few options to naturally manage the toothache and reduce the swelling.

In the following sections, I present some ways to relieve the pain of tooth root inflammation until your next visit to the doctor.

Cool tooth root inflammation with cooling batteries

To relieve the swelling and pain, you can use cooling batteries

It’s worth having these cooling helpers around the house just in case – even if you’re not currently in pain.

The cooling effect numbs the tooth’s irritated nerves when the cooling pad is pressed against the cheek, which is directly over the tooth.

The cooling is especially beneficial when the pain is accompanied by swelling of the gums.

The cold causes the blood vessels to contract, the pain to subside, and the swollen area of skin to recede.

Tips for use

  • Wrap the cooling pad in a thin cloth to avoid skin irritation. It is advantageous if you have several cooling accumulators at hand.
  • If you should not have cooling elements or ice cubes at home, you can also wrap frozen food from the freezer in a cloth.

Important: The application should not last longer than 15 minutes, and you should stop cooling for some time afterward to avoid tissue damage.

More tips around cooling a tooth root infection

Normally, the swelling will go down after some time and the pain will subside. However, if the pain persists, you should always see a doctor.

go to the dentist for pain

You should also avoid warm temperatures if you have a bacterial infection.

Bacteria love heat, so you should stay out of the sun. This can make the pain worse and is also not helpful against swelling.

In addition to cooling the affected area, you can also resort to other home remedies

  • Just a reminder, these remedies are not a substitute for professional treatment at the dentist’s office
  • So be careful when texts on the Internet advertise supposed miracle cures.

As a natural supplement and to alleviate (mild) symptoms, however, these foglende measures are suitable from & to:


Bite a clove and place it near the aching tooth. The eugenol it contains comes out and has a strong numbing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effect.

Oils help gums

Alternatively, you can apply high doses of clove oil (1-2 drops) with a cotton swab.

Another variation is brushing your teeth with coconut oil, which helps fight bacteria.


Propolis is an effective antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal agent.

It is especially effective for oral health. Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, they can also use it to treat the symptoms of small wounds and irritated root canals.

It is also commonly found in mouthwashes and toothpastes for this reason.

Use the pipette to apply 1 to 3 drops of propolis to the painful area and repeat every hour.

Salt Water Rinse

You can make a natural antiseptic mouthwash by drinking hot water and using salt dissolved in it.

Rinse your mouth with the salt water solution for about 30 seconds and then spit it out.

tooth root inflammation cool with water

This will help loosen debris that caused the root to become infected and prevent further infection.

The salt can attack the microbes that are responsible for the inflammation. You can repeat this treatment several times and it has no side effect.

Read more here: Gargling Salt Water.


Another effective home remedy for toothache in general is garlic.

Due to its antibiotic properties, it can help with even severe toothaches.


Mash a clove of garlic and place it near the aching tooth. Relief will begin to appear in as little as 1-2 minutes.

Prevent with proper dental care

To prevent it from getting that far in the first place, you should take precautions against rotten teeth as early as possible.

In my opinion, an electric toothbrush or ultrasonic toothbrush represents the best investment in healthy teeth (especially if, like me, you tend to use a faulty technique when brushing by hand)

  • Recommended toothbrushes from Oral-B include the Oral-B Genius, the Oral-B Pro 6500 for couples, or the Oral-B Pro 3000. Less expensive are the Oral-B Professional Care 700, Oral-B Pro 600, or the Braun Oral-B Pulsonic Slim.
  • Recommendable sonic toothbrushes are available, for example, with the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum or the Oral-B Pulsonic Slim Luxe.

If you have mastered the correct technique, according to dentists, a normal toothbrush is also sufficient (more info: manual toothbrush vs electric toothbrush).

But if you already suffer from existing conditions or have dental fillings, then it is worth buying one.

Concluding & a final tip

I hope to have helped you with this brief guide – feel free to read the more extensive text around the causes, treatment & aftercare of a tooth root inflammation.

And if you are still hesitant about making an appointment with an expert (possibly due to fear of the dentist), let me remind you again of the consequences of untreated swelling:

If bacteria are causing the infection/swelling, you should see an expert as soon as possible (because there is a high risk that the inflammation in the thick cheek will spread to other areas of the head, such as the jaw).

With your immune system pumping more and more blood to the affected area, the bacteria can also spread throughout the body and affect other organs.

Most of all, people with a weakened immune system should not let too much time pass to have the tooth root infection treated professionally by a dentist.