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Toothache Relief: Oil of Cloves

Toothache Relief: Oil of Cloves

Need short-term relief for an unhappy tooth? A natural remedy is oil of cloves, which has antimicrobial, germicidal and antiseptic properties, and contains the pain-killing compound eugenol, making it very effective in relieving dental pain. Clove oil has long been used in dentistry, mixed with zinc oxide to create temporary fillings, and as an anaesthetic before those drugs were available. It is an ingredient in quite a number of dental products, including toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Clove oil is potent, and this is a case where a diluted “dab will do ya.” Undiluted clove oil can cause serious problems: burning, nerve and tissue damage, and pain. Excessive use can cause vomiting. This oil should not be ingested in large quantities nor applied to broken skin. Children, pregnant or nursing women, and people with bleeding disorders, diabetes, kidney or liver disease should not use clove oil.

To make a dental compress, mix two drops of pure clove oil with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Saturate a gauze pad or cotton ball with the mixture and place it beside the tooth. You can also take a wet cotton swab and a dot of oil and apply it directly to the site of infection. Be precise to avoid unpleasant sensations to the tongue. Prior to using the compress, clean area as gently and thoroughly as possible, removing any food particles. Pain relief should kick in pretty fast.

If the toothache involves a molar, you can gently bite down on the cotton ball, leaving it there as long as possible. However, do not go to sleep with any compress in your mouth.

This remedy is for short-term pain relief. Any persistent dental pain should promptly receive the attention of a dentist.

Oil of cloves can be purchased over-the-counter at many pharmacies or at your local health food store.

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


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11:58AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

used a cotton swab and went around my gums and teeth. the oil set my mouth on FIRE!!!!! But it quickly numbed it. but it only lasted maybe 10 minutes.

1:49AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012


1:49AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Great stuff ~ too bad it tastes so gross.

2:59PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012


10:15AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

You can buy this over the counter. I used to work off shore with no care for a tooth ache other than a chopper but i always brought a bottle of clove oil just in case. This oil does work for a temporary fix but it only lasts about 10 min then you have to apply it again but after a while you end up burning your gums. In short, this is a quick fix for dental pain until you can get to the Dentist.

6:04AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thanks for the article.

11:20PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

This remedy is as old as Methuselah, my grandma used to put it on my Mum's teeth, my Mum on mine, me on my son's teeth...

8:35AM PDT on Aug 26, 2011

thanks for sharing

10:31AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

noted with many thanks.

7:18AM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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