A bad toothache can ruin a meal and the rest of your day. Can an ancient Chinese medical practice give you the relief you’re looking for?

Acupressure has been in practice for more than 2,000 years. Many people advocate its effectiveness in helping to soothe muscle aches and pains. They suggest that some pressure points can also be used to heal toothaches.

Acupressure — a natural, holistic form of medicine — is the act of applying pressure to a certain point on your body. The pressure signals the body to alleviate tension, remedy blood flow issues, and lower pain. This can be done by self-massage or by a professional or friend.

Acupressure can be administered at home or at an acupressure therapy facility. If you choose your home, pick a quiet, nonstressful area of your living space to help you focus and maximize the acupressure benefits.

  1. Get into a comfortable position.
  2. Breathe deeply and try to relax your muscles and limbs.
  3. Massage or rub each point with firm pressure.
  4. Repeat as often as you like.
  5. Make sure to stop if intense pain occurs.

  1. Small Intestine 18: SI18
    The Small Intestine 18 pressure point is widely used to alleviate toothaches, swollen gums, and tooth decay. It’s found perpendicular to the outside of your eye and the outside of your nose. It’s typically called the cheekbone hole.
  2. Gall Bladder 21: GB21
    The Gall Bladder 21 point is located at the top of your shoulder. It’s right in the middle of the end of your shoulder and the side of your neck. This point is used to aid facial pain, neck pain, and headaches.
  3. Large Intestine 4: LI4
    This point is used for headaches, stress, and other above-the-neck pains. It’s located in-between your thumb and index finger. You can find it by resting your thumb beside the second knuckle of your index finger. The apple (highest point) of the muscle is where LI4 is located.
  4. Stomach 6: ST6
    The ST6 pressure point is typically used to relieve mouth and tooth ailments. To find this point, you should clench your teeth together naturally. It’s located halfway between the corner of your mouth and the bottom of your earlobe. It’s the muscle that flexes when you press your teeth together.
  5. Stomach 36: ST36
    Typically for nausea, tiredness, and stress, the Stomach 36 pressure point is located below your knee. If you place your hand on your kneecap, it’s typically where your pinky is resting. You should apply pressure in a downward motion to the outside of your shin bone.

Acupressure should not be used in place of a visit to your dentist or doctor. However, acupressure can be used for temporary pain relief until you can schedule a dentist or doctor appointment.

You should contact your doctor if:

  • your pain is worsening or unbearable
  • you have a fever
  • you have swelling in your mouth, face, or neck
  • you’re experiencing difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • you’re bleeding from the mouth

Acupressure might provide you temporary relief from tooth, gum, or mouth pain by using one or all of the suggested pressure points. Acupressure should not be used in place of a visit to the doctor or dentist. Do not continue to practice acupressure if you’re experiencing extreme pain while practicing it.

To avoid future discomfort, tooth pain can often be prevented by proper oral hygiene and dietary changes.