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How Effective is Clove Oil for a Toothache?

By T. Alaine
Updated May 17, 2024
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Clove oil is a natural pain reliever made from whole cloves. Using clove oil for a toothache is generally very effective at reducing the amount of discomfort associated with oral pain, if it is applied correctly. There are several kinds of tooth pain whose symptoms can be treated with this oil, but it is important to remember that it will not cure the underlying cause of discomfort.

A component of clove oil called eugenol has anesthetic qualities, which is what makes it an effective treatment for toothache. The oil will cause numbness at the site of application and eases nerve pain. Furthermore, clove oil also has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which means that the cloves can prevent the spread of bacteria while reducing swelling around the site of tooth injury.

The only effective way to use clove oil for a toothache is to apply it topically; swallowing clove oil will not have the same pain-relieving benefits. Pure oil can usually be purchased at natural food stores or pharmacies. Users should slightly dilute it with a neutral, high-quality oil such as olive oil before using it because straight clove oil might be too strong and cause irritation. To apply, individuals can simply moisten a cotton compress with oil and hold it against the gums around the injured tooth. The nerves surrounding the injury will become numb and pain will diminish; the immediate numbing effects can make clove oil more effective than ingested pain pills for toothache pain.

Clove oil can be used to treat the pain associated with a variety of tooth ailments, including cavities, abscesses, tooth decay, and even dry sockets resulting from tooth removal. Its pain-killing properties, along with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects, make it an excellent option to soothe discomfort. While clove oil can treat pain, however, it will not cure the ailment that is causing the problem. For example, putting clove oil on a tooth that is plagued by cavities will temporarily reduce or even eliminate the pain, but it will not cause the cavity to go away. The only way to truly treat the root of the problem and not just the symptoms is to seek professional dental assistance.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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