Why Does Holding Water in My Mouth Help My Toothache?

why does holding water in my mouth help my toothache
Photo: depositphotos

Toothaches can be extremely painful and holding water in your mouth might provide temporary relief by reducing inflammation around the affected tooth. Here’s an overview of why this simple trick seems to help some people with tooth pain.

Reducing Inflammation Around the Tooth

When you have a toothache, it’s usually caused by inflammation in the pulp of your tooth. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When this area becomes inflamed due to decay, damage, or infection, it presses on the nerve endings in the tooth’s pulp chamber, causing throbbing pain.

Holding cold water in your mouth can reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels around the tooth. This decreases pressure on the nerve endings, providing temporary pain relief. The cold temperature basically numbs the area briefly.

holding water in mouth helps toothache
Photo: shutterstock

Preventing Friction on the Affected Tooth

Chewing, talking, and moving your mouth tends to make a toothache worse because it creates friction against the inflamed pulp tissue. Keeping water held against the painful tooth can prevent this friction, helping ease the discomfort temporarily.

The constant pressure of the water can also help block pain signals from the tooth to the brain. This reduces sensitivity from exposure to air, which can aggravate the nerve endings.

Cleaning Out Debris

If you have a tooth cavity or other damage that’s causing the toothache, holding water near the affected area can help flush out any trapped debris or bacteria. This may temporarily relieve irritation on the inflamed nerve.

However, it’s important to see a dentist to properly treat the underlying cause of the toothache for lasting relief.


While holding cold water in your mouth won’t cure a toothache, it can briefly reduce inflammation, prevent friction, and rinse away irritants around the affected tooth. This simple home remedy may provide temporary pain relief in a pinch. But be sure to get dental treatment to resolve the cause of any persistent tooth pain.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here