Using Clove Oil for Tooth Pain: Is It an Effective Treatment?

Using Clove Oil for Tooth Pain: Is It an Effective Treatment?
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Using Clove Oil for Tooth Pain: Is It an Effective Treatment?Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. Uses for Clove Oil
  2. Clove Oil & Tooth Pain
  3. How to Apply
  4. References

Clove oil is often used for natural treatment of dental problems.1

It has been shown to be effective for easing a toothache. However, the FDA states that there is not enough evidence to support these claims and lists the active ingredient, eugenol, in category III, meaning that more research is needed.

Clove oil may potentially be a natural herbal alternative to pharmacological methods of treating tooth pain, even though it is not scientifically proven to do so.

Cloves come from the flower buds of a tree. They are used as an aromatic spice common in Africa, Asia, and Middle Eastern countries. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Clove oil is taken from the leaves, stems, or buds of the clove plant.

Clove Oil Uses

Clove oil is extracted from the clove plant Syzygium aromaticum. It is an essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy and also for cooking. It is often used to relieve dental pain, such as a toothache.2

The tree is native to Southeast Asia. Clove oil is produced predominantly in Indonesia and Madagascar.Clove oil has been used for many purposes, including:

  • To ease digestive upset.
  • To kill bacteria as an antimicrobial.
  • For the relief of respiratory conditions and to soothe coughs.
  • As a pain reliever for muscle and tooth pain.

One of the main active components of clove oil is eugenol, which is believed to have many health benefits, including aiding with oral health and tooth pain.

Clove Oil for Tooth Pain

Clove oil has been documented to have an analgesic, pain-relieving, effect.3 It can work to relieve mild discomfort from a toothache as an alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers.

Clove oil can help a toothache due to its analgesic effects. Eugenol acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, so it can reduce swelling to relieve pain.4 Clove oil also has anesthetic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Even though clove oil has been used for centuries to relieve dental and tooth pain, the FDA has downgraded the active component in clove oil, eugenol, stating there is not enough scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.5 More research is needed to determine if clove oil and eugenol can work to control tooth pain.

Clove oil is considered to be a natural remedy and an alternative source for help with tooth pain. It does not have many side effects or potential risks. Therefore, if used in moderation, clove oil can potentially have beneficial properties.
Tooth pain is often the result of dental decay and caries, however. These issues will require dental attention.

How to Use Clove Oil on a Toothache

Clove oil can be purchased at drug stores, supermarkets, health food stores, and online. It is relatively easy to find and buy.

Whole cloves are also used to relieve mouth and tooth pain by placing them directly at the site of the discomfort.

Clove oil is an herbal remedy and natural holistic choice. It can be applied directly to the gums to moderate tooth pain.

To use clove oil, you will need to dip a cotton swab or cotton ball into the oil. Then, touch it to the affected area. It can offer limited pain relief for a short time.

If you are experiencing tooth pain for more than a day or two, you will need to call your dentist for further treatment. They can help you address the underlying issue.

General References

Mineral, Vitamin, and Herbal Supplements. (2012). Anesthesia and Uncommon Diseases (Sixth Edition). Date Fetched: August 26, 2021.

Medical References

1 Clove Oil and its Role in Oral Health- A Review. (May-June 2014). International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Healthcare. Date Fetched: August 26, 2021.

2 Multi-modal Management of Dental Pain with Focus on Alternative Medicine: A Novel Herbal Dental Gel. (April-June 2016). Contemporary Clinical Dentistry. Date Fetched: August 26, 2021.

3 Analgesic Effect of the Aqueous and Ethanolic Extracts of Clove. (Spring 2013). Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine (AJP). Date Fetched: August 27, 2021.

4 Is Clove Oil Effective for Toothache? (March 2018). Medical News Today. Date Fetched: August 27, 2021.

5 Clove. (July 2020). U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Date Fetched: August 27, 2021.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.