How Was Toothache Treated in Ancient Times?

Toothache is a common problem that affects people of all ages. It is a painful condition that can make it difficult to eat, sleep and perform daily activities.

Today, we have access to modern dental treatments that can effectively relieve toothache. But have you ever wondered how toothache was treated in ancient times? Let’s take a look at some of the remedies used in the past.

Ancient Egyptian Remedies

The ancient Egyptians were known for their advanced medical knowledge. They believed that toothaches were caused by tiny worms that burrowed into teeth. To get rid of these worms, they would mix together a combination of myrrh, cinnamon, and honey and apply it directly to the affected tooth.

Another remedy used by the Egyptians involved a mixture of onions, incense, and water. This mixture was heated and then placed on the affected tooth until the pain subsided.

Ancient Greek Remedies

The ancient Greeks also had their own remedies for treating toothache. One method involved chewing on raw garlic cloves or applying crushed garlic directly to the affected area. Garlic contains allicin, which has antibacterial properties that can help fight off infections.

Another remedy used by the Greeks was to apply a mixture of vinegar and pepper to the affected area. This mixture was believed to reduce inflammation and numb the pain.

Ancient Chinese Remedies

The ancient Chinese believed that toothaches were caused by an imbalance in energy flow within the body. They would use acupuncture to help restore this balance and alleviate pain.

Herbal remedies were also commonly used in ancient China for treating toothache. One such remedy involved boiling together licorice root, cinnamon bark, and fresh ginger root in water. This mixture was then used as a mouthwash or applied directly to the affected area.

Medieval Remedies

During medieval times, toothache was often treated with a mixture of herbs and spices. One such remedy involved mixing together cinnamon, cloves, and pepper and then applying the mixture directly to the affected tooth.

Another popular remedy involved soaking a piece of bread in vinegar and then placing it on the affected area. The vinegar was believed to help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.


Toothache has been a problem for humans since ancient times. While the remedies used in the past may seem strange or even ineffective by today’s standards, they were often based on a deep understanding of the human body and its natural remedies.

It’s important to note that while some ancient remedies may have worked for some people, others may have been harmful or even deadly. Today, we have access to modern dental treatments that are safe and effective in treating toothache. If you’re experiencing toothache, it’s best to consult with a dental professional rather than relying on ancient remedies.