Can You Kill Tooth Pain Nerve In 3 Seconds Permanently?

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

It’s not possible to kill your tooth pain nerve in 3 seconds permanently because home remedies can’t do it and neither can your dentist. If you were looking for instant pain relief from a toothache, it doesn’t exist.

However, if you’ve a little more patience than three seconds… it is possible to deaden the tooth pain nerve. We’ll explain what’s the fastest way to do it and also review which home remedies are safe and which are dangerous.

Read carefully and proceed even more cautiously.

Killing the tooth pain nerve instantly isn’t possible because even your dentist who specializes in treating teeth, requires more time than that. Needless to say, home remedies which are less effective than professional dental treatment will also require much more time than 3 seconds.

Three reasons why it’ll take longer than 3 seconds:

  • Takes time to reach the nerve of the tooth.
  • All analgesics need time before they work.
  • Dental procedures take 30-60 mins on average.

Time to reach tooth nerve

The nerve of your tooth which is the source of your toothache, is located in the center of the tooth. It is protected by a thick layer of dentin and a layer of enamel which is the hardest substance in the human body.

Tooth Anatomy - Mouthhealthy
Credit: Mouthhealthy – ADA

What we’re trying to say is that whatever at home remedy or dental treatment you’re trying to throw at it, you will need to work through the outer layers first. You need to bypass the dentin and enamel before you can even reach the pulp.

Most home remedies work topically which means you apply it on the outer surface of the tooth. Then you must wait for said remedy to work it’s way through all of the outer layers before it even gets to the inner pulp layer.

As you guessed, all of this takes much longer than a mere three seconds.

Analgesic working time

Even the best analgesic such as novocaine or lidocaine which are injectable local anesthetics, will take longer than 3 seconds to kill your toothache. After the injection, it’ll take a couple of minutes before you get numb and for you to stop feeling any pain.

Lidocaine carpule
TeethAnesthesia Time
Upper teeth1-2 minutes
Lower teeth3-5 minutes
Time to get numb for teeth

As we all know, an injection from your dentist is much more effective than any home remedy and even that takes at least a few minutes to start working. You don’t instantly become numb, you have to wait for the medication to take effect.

Dental procedure time

The most infamous way to permanently kill a tooth nerve is via a root canal procedure with your dentist. This endodontic treatment will remove the aching nerve from your tooth forever but it takes at least 45-60 minutes to complete the procedure.

Essentially it doesn’t happen instantly nor does it finish in 3 seconds. It takes close to an hour.

Fastest way to kill tooth nerve

The most effective and fastest way to kill a tooth nerve is to get a root canal. Your dentist can alleviate your tooth pain in two phases, numbing with local anesthesia and removing the nerve via root canal therapy.

The entire treatment may take an hour to complete but you’ll begin having pain relief within 2-5 minutes.

  • The injection with local anesthesia will take 2-5 minutes to numb the nerve.
  • After you’re numb, your dentist can begin the root canal which takes an hour.
root canal steps diagram
  1. Administer local anesthesia. You’ll have relief after 2-5 minutes.
  2. Place rubber dam. A rubber dam is placed over the tooth that needs the root canal. This contraption isolates the tooth from the rest of the mouth and serves two purposes.
    • Prevent saliva contamination. The procedure demands that the tooth be as sterile as possible and saliva contains a lot of bacteria so it keeps it away.
    • Patient safety. The rubber dam prevents you from swallowing unwanted substances such as endodontic files and sodium hypochlorite (bleach).
  3. Occlusal reduction. Reduce the occlusion/height of the tooth so that you don’t get biting pain after the procedure is done.
  4. Tooth access opening. Your dentist will drill through the enamel and dentin in order to reach the pulp where the tooth nerve is located.
  5. Cleaning the canals. The actual process of removing the tooth nerve. This is done with endodontic files to pull out the nerve.
  6. Shaping the canals. The canals need to be flared and shaped to fit the root filling material. This step prepares the tooth for completion.
  7. Disinfection. After the root canal has been cleaned and shaped, a final round of disinfection is required prior to filling it.
  8. Obturation. The canals are filled with gutta percha, a root filling material.
  9. Temporary filling. The pulp chamber is then filled in with a temporary material called Cavit G. It is soft and malleable but will harden once it comes into contact with water.
  10. Return to a restorative dentist. The root canal is now completed but treatment for the tooth is not. The temporary will need to be replaced with a core build up and a crown.

Aside from seeing your dentist, all other ways to kill the nerve of your tooth will take longer and they won’t be as effective.

Do toothache home remedies work?

For a very mild toothache, home remedies can temporarily alleviate the pain. However, if you want to be pain free permanently, you’ll still need to see a dentist.

Nonetheless, at home remedies can be useful in holding you over until you can make it to the dentist. Although not all of these home remedies are effective and some of them are outright dangerous. That is why we will go over ones you can use and ones you should avoid.

Note: For severe tooth pain, don’t even bother with these because none of them are potent enough to alleviate a throbbing toothache. This is especially true for extreme tooth pain where you can’t even sleep.

Home remedies you can try

These home remedies are relatively safe to use and unlikely to cause you harm. Their effectiveness on the other hand… we’ll leave it up to you to decide. Take your pick of medicines to try from below.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of over the counter painkillers. These work systemically and will definitely reduce your dental pain.

  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin

Just remember to take these with a meal and with a full glass of water.

A lot of essential oils do have analgesic properties and they’re an all natural remedy.

  • Basil oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Clove oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Tea tree oil

How to use them

  • Mouth rinse – add a few drops into a cup of water and swish with it.
  • Apply on tooth – add a drop onto a q-tip or cotton ball and dab it on the affected tooth.

An inexpensive solution for keeping your teeth and mouth free of food debris and plaque.

How to use:

  1. Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water.
  2. Stir the saline mixture lightly.
  3. Rinse vigorously for 2 minutes by swishing around.
  4. Spit out and repeat as needed.

Peroxide is a great disinfectant and it can eliminate 50% of the bacteria with just a 15-30 second rinse.

The cold will help to numb the area. Use it for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. Alternate it as many times as you need.

A gentle mouth rinse that you can use in lieu of salt water. Both will work well in reducing plaque and keeping the teeth clean of irritants.

A fantastic antiseptic mouth rinse that can kill 99.9% of all germs in your mouth. A 60 second rinse is all you need.

However, if it burns too much you should consider switching to the non-alcoholic version.

Yes, a toothache plant does exist and its effects are similar to szechuan peppercorns. It gives your mouth a tingling numbing sensation when you use it. Does it work? We’ll leave it up to you to find out…

The bark of a willow tree contains a substance that led to the development of modern day aspirin so yes this can work.

How to use it:

  1. Chew on the willow bark.
  2. Wait for the analgesia to take effect.

However, if your tooth hurts to chew on, this may not be a good idea.

Some teas can be comforting and contain a lot of antioxidants.

How to use:

  1. Brew hot water and steep tea according to instructions.
  2. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  3. Swish it around your mouth for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Home remedies to avoid

By all means, do NOT use any of these home remedies that are listed below. They are dangerous and will cause you bodily harm. The most likely outcome will result in you going to the hospital or end up with more pain than before you used it.

Crushed raw garlic – can cause a chemical burn or “garlic burn” in your mouth.

Bleach – sodium hypochlorite “accident” as we would call it will land you in the ED.

Brake fluid – has been well documented in community mass poisonings.

Gasoline – this automotive fluid is meant for cars and not your mouth…

Crushed aspirin – potential aspirin burn to the soft oral tissues.

When DIY remedies are ineffective

There are two situations which can render at home remedies to be completely ineffective.

  • The pain is coming from underneath of a crown tooth.
  • You’ve an abscess that is swollen.

If you’ve any of the above, we recommend seeing a dentist right away and not waste time trying to manage this at home.

Pain under crown

The vast majority of DIY remedies exert their effect via topical application to the tooth. Unfortunately for teeth with crowns on them, the porcelain is impervious to liquids and solid remedies.

Want proof? Check out this experiment we did to show you how impenetrable a crown is to external stimuli.

Swollen tooth abscess

If your mouth or face is swollen, you need to seek professional help immediately. The situation is too severe for you to even attempt to manage at home.

Typically, swelling won’t dissipate without antibiotics or a dental abscess drainage. Everything that you do will be futile. The abscess can grow in size and it can get dangerous so time is of the essence. Seek help right away.

Do antibiotics help?

Taking antibiotics such as amoxicillin can help manage the infection but it will not kill the tooth nerve pain. The reason is because antibiotics are not analgesics so it will not have any pain alleviating effects. In other words, it is NOT a painkiller and won’t stop tooth pain.

Antibiotic amoxicillin vs pain reliever ibuprofen

A classic example would be if you had muscle soreness, a bruise, or a headache. Would you take antibiotics or would you take some ibuprofen? Hopefully its the latter because that is a pain reliever while the former is only meant to kill bacteria with no pain alleviating effects.

The Verdict

While you may not be able to kill the tooth pain nerve in 3 seconds permanently, pain relief is still attainable. The most effective, safest and fastest way to get out of pain is by getting a root canal with your dentist. That means your toothache relief is just a phone call away.

If you choose to try home remedies instead, the best that they can do is temporarily alleviate your toothache. Ultimately you’re simply delaying the inevitable which is to see a dentist and also prolonging the time that you’re in pain.

Our ultimate recommendation is… please, just go see a dentist already.


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