Clove oil for tooth pain: a home remedy revealed!

Table of Contents

Clove oil has been a common remedy for toothache for hundreds of years. The first recorded use of clove oil for tooth pain was in ancient China, and it has been a common ingredient used in traditional eastern medicines ever since. The essential oil extracted from the plant has an active ingredient called eugenol, which works as a pain killer and an anesthetic that can help with tooth pain in cases of infection.

So, you might ask “can this traditional remedy still work to reduce your toothache?”. In this article, we will explain how you can use clove oil for tooth pain, whether it’s safe to use or dangerous, and what other choices you have if you could not find clove oil. After reading this blog, hopefully, you will get relief from your aching tooth.

So, let’s begin with the first question, how does clove oil works?

How does clove oil work for tooth pain

Clove is used for pain relief for a very long time, and its effects on oral health are quite effective. People use it to get relief from tooth pain. Though, its effect on oral health is more than just tooth pain relief. It is also useful for infections. That is why the ingredient in the clove oil called eugenol is used in different materials in dentistry.

The active ingredient eugenol in the clove oil has a natural anesthetic ability to reduce pain in the tooth. That is why eugenol is used in filling material, especially in temporary fillings. The tooth extraction, root canal treatment, and inflammation can be a painful process and that is where the eugenol-added filling is useful. When the eugenol-added filling is used the pain occurs less, and inflammation and swelling heal faster.

Is clove oil good for tooth pain? 

Yes, clove oil can get you pain relief from your aching tooth. Once your aching tooth is covered in clove oil, it will numb, lasting for 1-2 hours. That is the active ingredient, eugenol affects your teeth. After the oil touches the outer part of your tooth, it temporarily numbs your tooth nerve connection.

Eugenol is also used in many dentistry products and treatments as an anesthetic agent, such as tooth extraction, root canal treatment, and dental fillings.

Clove oil is an alternative medicine for tooth pain and is considered good by many dentists and researchers. It will be useful if you have tooth decay, swelling, or a sensitive tooth.

Is clove oil good for tooth infections?

Yes, clove oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent in addition to being an anesthetic. In a study performed on people who have tooth infections, it was found that clove oil improved the healing process with its antibacterial properties. (2)(3)

Is it safe to use clove oil for toothache?

The safety of clove oil depends on the amount you use. In small doses, the active ingredient in clove oil (eugenol) can help reduce pain and inflammation. But in high doses or wrong usage, it might give you some trouble. Here are the safety concerns for clove oil:

  • If used too often or too much, people can develop an allergy or sensitivity to clove oil.
  • If clove oil is ingested in large amounts, it can lead to liver problems. (4)
  • Showing allergic reactions to clove oil is so rare only 2% of people were found to show symptoms.
  • Clove oil is especially not recommended for children’s usage. They cannot tolerate it as adults can.
  • You should keep in mind that using clove oil is only a temporary solution for your pain and might be harmful in the long term usage.
  • It is not recommended to use during pregnancy.

So, as long as you avoid clove oil in certain situations and use it in the right dosage you will have no problem.

How do you use clove oil for tooth pain?

Now that you are familiar with clove oil, and know what it is used for, we can talk about how you prepare the clove oil for your aching tooth. First things first you will need some materials that we mentioned below.

What you need: clove oil, cotton ball, olive/coconut oil (carrier oils)

  1. Step: First, put a few drops of clove oil on the plate you do not have to pour all the bottles a small amount, half a teaspoon would be enough. Add the diluting oil with double the amount of the clove oil, as undiluted clove oil might be harmful.
  2. Step: Soak your cotton ball in the plate and make sure you get enough in the cotton.
  3. Step: Put the cotton in the infected, swollen, or painful tooth. Avoid getting it in contact with your gums directly.
  4. Step: Close your mouth and bite the cotton but do not make it too strong, wait for 15-20 minutes like that.
  5. Step: After you are done rinse your mouth to clean the oil, you can benefit from a warm water rinse. If you do not clean it, it might be harmful rather than just an anesthetic in your mouth. 

What not to do when using clove oil

While using clove oil for tooth pain there are a few points that you should be careful of. It is helpful for your tooth pain but if things go wrong or you use it in the wrong way you might find yourself in a serious problem. 

  • Never directly put the oil in your tooth as it can erode or you might get an overdose.
  • While using it on your tooth, it is okay to swallow little amounts of it, but not too much. If you think you used more than the recommended dosage (not a half teaspoon but more than a tablespoon) please talk with your doctor.
  • If clove oil comes into contact with the skin and eyes, it can cause irritation and pain. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after usage. If you accidentally get clove oil on any surface, make sure to clean it thoroughly.
  • Clove oil is not a treatment but a home remedy for your infected, cracked, broken, or painful tooth. Make sure you go to a dentist for your pain and do not use clove oil for more than two days. When you go to the dentist inform them that you used clove oil.
  • Clove oil is not recommended for use in children. Keep the clove oil out of reach for children. The symptoms of clove oil ingestion in children are diarrhea, dizziness, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your child ingested clove oil without supervision, contact your doctor.

Can I use clove cigarettes for tooth pain?

No, clove cigarettes are not an alternative for tooth pain, besides they are not recommended. Clove cigarettes are proven to be dangerous and promote smoking habits. When you inhale the vaporized clove oil, it gives you a numb effect on your mouth and throat. However, it might actually worsen the scenario afterward if you keep using the clove cigarettes for tooth pain. It was banned from the market by FDA in 2009 but is still available in some countries.

Where can I buy clove oil for tooth pain?

You can buy clove oil, from supermarkets, chemists, health food stores, herbal stores, or online. While shopping on the internet make sure you are getting an authentic product. Beware of scams and fake products. We recommend getting a bottle of clove oil with a dropper because it will be easier to use and adjust the dosage.

How to make clove oil for tooth pain: home remedy

Bottled clove oil, sold in the markets and stores, is produced with a special method called stream distribution. In that way, it becomes possible to get almost pure clove oil extracted from the clove seeds.

If you think you cannot find any place nearby and you are in a hurry, you can buy clove seeds and make your own natural remedy. Getting a pure essential oil of clove is not possible at home but you will definitely benefit from it. 

To make your own clove oil you can benefit from a mortar and pestle. Just crash a bunch of clove seeds and you can get the clove oil. Get rid of the seeds with a help of cloth and there is clove oil. After that, you still need to dilute it before using the product.

Besides it does not have to be in its oil form to be useful for pain relief, you can also use the clove seeds and grounds without extracting their oil. One of the methods we mentioned here is also useful if you think you have more than one of your teeth in pain.

Chewing clove seeds: Get yourself 1 or 2 clove seeds and put them in your mouth. When you bite, the clove seeds will release their oil and that should give you some relief.

Make clove paste: Get yourself a pinch of ground clove and add them to a dish. Mix it with half a teaspoon of olive oil until it forms a paste. Put it in your mouth with the help of a cotton swab or you can also put it directly on where the toothache is and wait for 15-20 minutes.

Clove added water: Get yourself a small pot and put 1 and a half liters of water in it then add 13-14 cloves to the water. Heat the water until it is simmering. After it has cooled down, you can use it as a mouthwash. Make sure not to accidentally drink it.


Clove oil is useful for tooth pain thanks to its anesthetic properties. There are many studies showing its beneficial effects for pain and also used in some dentistry methods too. If you want to use it for your aching tooth make sure you follow the instructions we gave above. Remember that it is a dangerous material in high doses and needs to be used in the way we are told to avoid any problems. After you apply it to your tooth, always rinse your mouth.


-Marya CM, Satija G, J A, Nagpal R, Kapoor R, Ahmad A. In vitro inhibitory effect of clove essential oil and its two active principles on tooth decalcification by apple juice. Int J Dent. 2012;2012:759618. doi:10.1155/2012/759618 Link

-Jesudasan JS, Wahab PU, Sekhar MR. Effectiveness of 0.2% chlorhexidine gel and a eugenol-based paste on postoperative alveolar osteitis in patients having third molars extracted: a randomised controlled clinical trial. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015;53(9):826-830. doi:10.1016/j.bjoms.2015.06.022 Link

-Xu JS, Li Y, Cao X, Cui Y. The effect of eugenol on the cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans and dental caries development in rats. Exp Ther Med. 2013;5(6):1667-1670. doi:10.3892/etm.2013.1066 Link

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