The Fastest Way To Kill a Tooth Nerve

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The fastest way to kill a tooth nerve is by removing the tooth with an extraction and the procedure can take 5-30 minutes to complete. All other dental treatments which kill the nerve of the tooth permanently will take more time than that.

tooth extraction cartoon

In case you were wondering, toothache home remedies can temporarily alleviate your pain but won’t kill the nerve. Although even if they did, they tend to require more than 30 minutes before they start working. That still makes them slower than a tooth removal.

Fastest way to kill nerve in tooth

A tooth extraction is the fastest way to kill a tooth nerve and the entire procedure may take 5-30 minutes. That is how long it’ll take for your dentist to remove the nerve with the tooth from your jaw bone.

Depending on the condition of your tooth, sometimes it can be removed within 5 minutes while other times it can take longer.

  • A loose tooth that is periodontally compromised can be extracted the quickest.
  • A non-mobile tooth that has healthy periodontium (bone) surrounding it will require more time for it to be removed. Consequently, that means the time to kill it will take longer.

Due to the two reasons given above, that is why we’ve given you a range of time.

Can the nerve be killed instantaneously?

Unfortunately, you can’t kill the nerve in a tooth instantly nor in 3 seconds because that is physically impossible. Before your dentist can begin the extraction, they have to anesthetize the tooth with local anesthesia and that already takes 2-3 minutes.

Lidocaine carpule
Lidocaine – local anesthetic

Unless you want your dentist to be performing the procedure with zero numbing, it won’t be possible to do this instantly.

An alternative but slower way to kill tooth nerve

A root canal is the traditional way to kill the tooth nerve but it does take a lot longer than an extraction. Usually the procedure takes about 45-60 minutes for your dentist to complete it. That means it takes at least twice as long.

The benefit of getting a root canal over an extraction is that it is more conservative because it preserves your tooth. The extraction results in you missing a tooth while the root canal does not.

Will home remedies work?

If you opt to use home remedies, it can temporarily deaden your toothache but the discomfort often returns once it wears off.

The reason is because they don’t treat the source of your tooth pain but simply just decrease your discomfort. Due to that, at home remedies are considered temporary rather than permanent since the toothache will come back!

How long home remedies take to work

There are a LOT of toothache home remedies, almost too many to even list. We’ll give you a few examples and also how long it takes them to start alleviating your pain.

Home RemedyEstimated Time For Analgesia
Acetaminophen60 minutes
Ibuprofen20-30 minutes
Orajel5-15 minutes
Willow bark30-60 minutes
Salt water rinseDoes not relieve pain
Hydrogen peroxideDoes not relieve pain
ListerineNot an analgesic
Clove oil10-30 minutes?
Peppermint tea bagNot an analgesic
Vanilla extractNot an analgesic

To reiterate, some of these can potentially temporarily reduce your aching tooth pain but it will not kill it permanently. The only procedures which can do that would be a root canal or an extraction.

Most effective home remedy

In our opinion, the most effective remedy to alleviate a toothache at home would be taking the OTC pain reliever, advil dual action. It contains both ibuprofen and acetaminophen in one single pill.

Research has shown that taking both produces a synergistic effect that is more effective than taking them alone. The results are actually comparable to taking an opioid like vicodin or percocet.

acetaminophen with ibuprofen pain relief chart
Credit: Paul A. Moore, DMD, PhD, MPH; Hersh Elliot V., DMD, MS, PhD

Make sure you follow the dosage instructions on the label! Taking too much of it can be detrimental to your liver or GI tract.

Can I pull my own tooth?

The only way that you can kill the nerve of your tooth at home is if you pulled it out yourself.

However, that is not recommended due to two major reasons.

  • You don’t have local anesthesia. Unfortunately, you do not have a dental license so you don’t have access to novacaine to numb your tooth before you do it. This can make for an extremely painful experience if you try pulling it while you’re not numb.
  • You’ll most likely break the tooth off at the gum line. You may have been able to pull your own baby teeth while growing up but adult teeth are a different story. Permanent teeth have much longer roots than primary teeth. What tends to happen with DIY extractions is that the crown of the tooth will break off but the roots will remain stuck in the gums.

Ultimately, those who attempt to pull their own tooth usually end up at the dentist with a broken tooth and in more pain than before. In other words, don’t bother with this dangerous idea and just go see a dentist!


If you want to kill your tooth nerve as fast as possible, you should see your dentist for a tooth extraction. That is literally the quickest way to get you out of pain.

All other purportedly solution will take longer than that or they won’t get rid of the nerve pain permanently. We’re looking directly at you, home remedies for toothaches! Those can temporarily reduce the pain from your aching tooth and that is the best that it can do.


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