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Peppermint Tea Bag For A Toothache - Home Remedy

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Are you having a mild toothache but unable to make it to the dentist due to your work schedule? Wondering if peppermint tea bags as a toothache home remedy can sooth your tooth pain? You've heard about it on the internet and want to see if it is true.

Well, keep on reading because we're going to answer all of your questions regarding the use of this product.

bigelow peppermint herbal tea

Table of Contents:

How to use a peppermint tea bag for a toothache

  1. Boil an 8oz cup of water.

  2. Steep the peppermint tea bag for up to 5 minutes.

  3. Wait for the peppermint tea to cool down to room temperature.

  4. Place the tea bag over the tooth with pain and bite down on it for 10 minutes.

  5. Repeat as often as necessary.

Alternatively, instead of biting down on the tea bag, you can use it as a mouth rinse.

  1. Rinse with the peppermint tea for 15 minutes.

  2. Spit out and repeat as often as needed for tooth pain.

Remember, if you are going to use it as a mouth rinse, you need to rinse for as long as fifteen minutes. If you swish for a shorter amount of time, you may not receive the full benefits. For the full benefits, it needs to be rinsed for a longer period of time.

Does peppermint work for toothaches?

Peppermint is derived from the plant Mentha balsamea Wild and the main ingredient in it is menthol, which may comprise up to 48% of it. The peppermint oil along with the menthol have been shown to have a moderate antibacterial effect against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

There has also been one study showing zinc oxide peppermint oil paste as being more effective than zinc oxide alone as a pediatric root canal filling. They do recommend further elaborate studies to prove its success.

So, yes peppermint oil does have an antibacterial effect and will work on fighting bacteria but will peppermint tea help relieve tooth pain? The answer is, it may or may not offer pain relief but it depends on the cause of the toothache.

When peppermint tea bags will work for a toothache

  • Gum swelling. If you are having some gum inflammation or even some gum swelling, the peppermint tea may help alleviate tooth pain. The reason is because the tea has direct access and contact to the cause of the toothache.

  • Gum infection. For certain gum infections, it may help as well. As long as it is located on the gums because the tea has direct contact with the infection.

When peppermint tea bags will not work for a toothache

  • Cavity inside the tooth. If the toothache is caused by a cavity that is located within the tooth, the peppermint will not work because the tea is unable to reach the bacteria housed within the tooth.

  • Nerve pain. It will also not work on any type of nerve pain because the nerve is located in the innermost portion of the tooth. The peppermint rinse cannot reach the nerve of your tooth.

For these two scenarios, only your dentist can relieve your tooth pain because in order to get to the cavity and to the nerve, you need to drill into the tooth. Once the tooth has been drilled into, then the tea can get direct access to the bacteria but at that point, you might as well remove the tooth decay and put a filling in it. For the nerve pain it would require a root canal instead!

Downside to using it

Despite all of the good and neutral facts about peppermint tea as a mouth rinse, there are two particular downsides to using it. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect product because it can cause staining and it may contain caffeine.

The first one being that tea is very staining so what that means is that you may find your teeth darkening or turning more yellow over time. With consistent long term use of this, you may need to get some teeth whitening periodically to keep the yellowing at bay.

The second downside is that it may contain caffeine. Most people are okay with drinking many cups of coffee but this is an additional source that perhaps you may not want. It could be counterproductive if you rinse with this prior to bedtime because it can keep you up.

You should look for a brand that does NOT contain caffeine, like the one pictured in the image above. Using a decaffeinated one will definitely circumvent this issue.

Take away

Peppermint tea bags do have an antibacterial effect and it may help alleviate a toothache but only for certain situations. If the tooth pain is coming from the gums then it may help but if it is coming from within the tooth, then it will not help.

For the later scenario you would need to see a dentist and one of our Long Island City Dentists will be more than happy to help you when you come in for your dental check up.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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