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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