Clove Oil for Toothache – A Complete Guide to Pain Relief

There are many causes of a bad toothache. That sharp pain coming from inside your mouth may be from a cavity, a broken or rotted tooth, or an inflamed gum. If you’re lucky, the tooth pain is a temporary injury, due to eating a sharp piece of potato chip or too much sugar. But even though the source of pain is coming from such a small region of your mouth, a toothache can make your entire day uncomfortable. Often many people must find a solution until they can get an appointment at the dentist to have it looked into.

clove oil for toothache

Many times a broken or chipped tooth can occur at the worst times. Perhaps you’re on vacation and worried about the quality of the dentists in your vacation city, or perhaps your dental plan doesn’t cover an out-of-country visit. Some toothaches may be annoying, but often you can wait until you return home before seeking treatment. But in the meantime, you can use clove oil to soothe some of the pain away. Clove oil can also soothe an intensely bad toothache until you can head to the dentist in the morning.

The usual option for a sore tooth is to buy an medicine that contains benzocaine in it, however, many people suffer allergies from this ingredient. Clove oil can be a safer and more natural way to ease any bad tooth pain.

Clove oil is an effective remedy to help soothe a toothache. Since clove oil is naturally antiseptic, it can help control a tooth infection so that it doesn’t worsen before you have time to visit the dentist. Eugenol, a compound of clove oil, is often one of the ingredients in pharmacy-sold toothache remedies too. You can purchase clove oil, also known as oil of clove, from many stores and pharmacies. This treatment is simple and inexpensive to use.

What is Clove Oil?

Clove oil smells a lot like the powdered clove spice that you use for baking in your kitchen, and comes from the same plant. Clove oil is in the class of essential oils, and is extracted from the clove plant called Syzygium aromaticum. The plant grows mainly in Madagascar and Indonesia where clove oil is produced.

Clove oil has a wide range of health benefits, and is also used in the production of perfume. Clove oil naturally contains eugenol, acetyl eugenol, caryophyllene, and other compounds. Eugenol has many natural benefits, including being an antiseptic and anaesthetic. This compound is contained in many dentistry products, and used as a flavouring for medicines.

Clove oil can be sourced from three different parts of the clove plant. The oil that is derived from the floral buds of the plant is called bud oil. Leaf oil is derived from the leaves of the plant, while stem oil is derived from the stems of the plant.

Clove oil is sold in small glass bottles. It’s best when sold in a dark brown bottle, so sunlight can’t deteriorate it. Only a small drop of clove oil is required to treat a painful tooth. Purchasing a small bottle of clove oil is more affordable than buying a large bottle of painkiller medication.

How Do I Use Clove Oil on My Toothache?

First, you must figure out which tooth is causing you trouble. Often it can be difficult to tell where tooth pain is coming from, unless you obviously lost a filling from a particular tooth, or the tooth is discoloured or chipped or broken. Often you can press against the gum to figure it out. Once you’ve figured out which tooth is troubling you, collect together your bottle of clove oil and a cotton swab.

  • Remove the lid from your clove oil.
  • Pour a drop or two onto the tip of the cotton swab.
  • Apply the cotton swab against the sore tooth.
  • Hold the cotton swab in place for twenty seconds.
  • Remove the cotton swab and find out how the tooth feels.
  • If the tooth has been numbed, continue on with your day.
  • Re-apply the clove oil when discomfort begins again.
  • The clove oil is only a temporary fix, so ensure you call your dentist to book an appointment.

Does Clove Oil Really Work on a Toothache?

Powdered cloves have been used to help tooth pain going back to at least the 1940s, and likely even much earlier than that. Clove oil is a much more concentrated form of the eugenol that it contains, making it more effective than powered cloves. But if all you have is powdered cloves in your kitchen and a bad toothache in the middle of the night, you can still get through the night until you can visit the dentist the next day.

In 2006, a study was published in The Journal of Dentistry. During the study, they gave some participants the clove oil to soothe their tooth pain, while other participants were given benzocaine, which is commonly used in the dentist office and is contained within many OTC remedies for pain. Some people were given a placebo, which is basically nothing. Apparently it was discovered that the clove oil worked as well as the benzocaine did.

It’s up you whether you want to purchase the bottle of clove oil, get some other topical remedy for your tooth pain from the store, or take a painkiller such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But clove oil works directly on the source of the pain and can be a lot safer to take than several pills throughout the day.

Even major toothpaste companies, such as Colgate, endorse using clove oil to help soothe a toothache. Many people are in professions where they can’t take painkillers, so clove oil can be a safe alternative.

The eugenol contained within the clove oil not only soothes the pain and acts as an anesthetic and antibacterial, but it also works as an anti-inflammatory too. According to another study done by the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, it was discovered that eugenol was more effective than other painkillers, including benzocaine.

Simple Diluted Clove Oil Recipe to Ease Tooth Pain

Many people find the taste of clove oil to be extremely strong. You can make a special clove oil mixture to numb the pain of a toothache, while benefiting from a not-so-strong clove oil taste. The benefit of this recipe is that it’s not as strong as directly applying clove drops to your sore tooth, however, it may not be as effective. This is a better solution for minor tooth pain.

Ingredients for Diluted Clove Oil

Gather these ingredients together to make a simple paste for your sore teeth or gums.

  1. Four drops of clove oil.
  2. 1/8 teaspoon of olive oil.

Method and Recipe for Diluted Clove Oil

Simply follow these steps to make your tooth-numbing oil. The olive oil acts like a carrier agent to the clove essential oil.

  • Mix together the clove oil and the olive oil together.
  • Store the oil in a small container with lid so you can use it at any time.

Clove Oil Paste Recipe to Ease Tooth Pain

You can also use a couple of ingredients to create a paste, which may stick to your bad tooth much better than the oil will. Coconut oil also possesses some healing and antiseptic properties too. This is a better solution if you have gum pain, as both the clove oil and the coconut oil will work together to decrease inflammation.

Ingredients for Clove Oil Numbing Paste

Gather these ingredients together to make a simple paste for your sore teeth or gums. The coconut oil has more of a solid texture, so even while it will melt during mixing, it will solidify again for storage.

  1. Four drops of clove oil.
  2. 1/8 teaspoon of coconut oil.

Method and Recipe for Clove Oil Numbing Paste

Simply follow these steps to make your tooth numbing paste.

  • Mix together the clove oil and the coconut oil together.
  • Store the oil in a small container with lid so you can use it at any time.

How to Use Your Diluted Clove Oil or Clove Oil Numbing Paste

The steps for usage are the same, no matter if you’re using pure clove oil, a paste, or a mixture on your teeth or gums.

  1. Apply clove oil, paste, or the mixture onto a cotton swab.
  2. Use the cotton swap to apply to your sore tooth.
  3. Avoid swallowing for half and hour.
  4. Spit out any excess.
  5. By now you should be ready for your day.

Other Ways to Use Clove Oil to Help a Sore Tooth

If you don’t prefer one method, don’t give up. You may be able to tolerate clove oil through a different method. Give some of these options a try.

coconut oil for oil pulling

  • Add the clove oil to only warm water and swish it around your mouth.
  • Add one drop of clove oil to a teaspoon of sea salt and warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for five minutes, then spit out.
  • Add a drop of clove oil to coconut oil for oil pulling in your mouth. Swish around for two minutes, then spit out.

Where Can I Purchase Clove Oil?

There are a wide range of sources where you can purchase clove oil. If your local store or pharmacy has a separate section with aromatherapy oils, often clove oil is one of the essential oils you’ll see there. Check some of these other sources too.

  1. Supermarkets, pharmacies, or grocery stores.
  2. Health food or vitamin stores.
  3. Online wellness stores.
  4. On Amazon.

Warnings and Cautions for Using Clove Oil on Teeth

Since clove oil does contain some medicinal compounds, it’s best to be aware of some warnings and cautions.

  • Do not give clove oil to children under twelve years old, or to pets.
  • Use only a drop or two at a time on a cotton swab and then directly apply on your tooth.
  • Avoid swallowing the clove oil. You may wish to be near a sink to spit it out within the first half an hour of using. After that time, it will be safe to swallow.
  • Never pour the drops directly from the bottle into your mouth, no matter how much pain you are in.
  • Clove oil can have a burning sensation at first before its numbing properties tone down the pain. If you use too much, this sensation can increase. Simply rinse out your mouth.
  • If your stomach gets upset, you may be using too much. Try to avoid swallowing within the first half an hour of treatment. If your upset stomach continues, discontinue use and try to move your dental appointment closer.
  • Also discontinue usage if you are experiencing any burning sensations in your throat, or you are having difficulties in breathing.
  • Clove oil does have a sharp and distinctive taste. Many people don’t like the taste of cloves, so this should give you extra encouragement to call your dentist to get your tooth fixed if you can’t tolerate the taste for too long.
  • If you feel you used too much clove oil, rinse your mouth out with warm water.
  • Don’t use clove oil for more than three days at a time. It’s only meant as a temporary measure until you can get to your dentist.
  • Keep your bottle of clove oil in the top part of your medicine cabinet or kitchen cupboard, away from pets and small children.
  • Keep the cap twisted securely onto the bottle, and store it away from heat or direct sunlight.
  • If you have any questions, ask your dentist.


Everyone suffers a bad toothache eventually. No matter how well you look after your teeth, they do age naturally, and tooth enamel can wear down over time. Keep a bottle of clove oil handy in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit. You never know when you’ll suffer from a bad toothache, and it will be a relief to treat it quickly and effectively, until you can head to the dentist to get it fixed.

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