Clove oil, and primarily Eugenol, a chemical found in cloves, has been used in dentistry since the 19th century. It has also long been used as a home remedy for a toothache.
Clove Oil: Oral Health
Clove oil has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries to relieve tooth pain.
It contains a chemical called eugenol. In 1837, eugenol and magnesium oxide were combined to create a filling material.
Later, zinc oxide replaced the magnesium oxide to create ZOE (zinc oxide eugenol), which is still widely used as a temporary filling cement.
Since the 19th century, eugenol has been one of many essential oil components to be used in root canal therapy, periodontal therapy, and to treat abscesses.
Clove Oil: Treating A Toothache
Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol, which acts as an anesthetic and antibacterial agent. The oil is anti-inflammatory and antifungal.
You can buy it in supermarkets, drug stores, and health food shops, or online. The taste is warm and spicy.
To use it for a toothache, dip a clean tissue, cotton swab, or cotton ball into the oil and wipe it over the gums at the point of the pain.
People can also use whole cloves. Simply place them on the affected area for several minutes at a time.
Clove Oil: Is It Effective?
Put clove oil directly on the gums to ease toothache. The eugenol in clove oil is effective at fighting several known oral bacteria.
Some research also suggests that clove gel may reduce the pain of needle insertion in dentistry.
Clove Oil: Side Affects
While clove oil is usually safe when applied to the skin, repeated use inside the mouth and on the gums can have side effects.
Side effects may include damage to the:
- tooth pulp — the central part of the tooth containing connective tissue and cells
- the skin on the inside of the mouth
- mucous membranes inside of the mouth
Using dried cloves inside of the mouth can cause sensitivity and irritation, as well as damage the dental tissues.
Consuming clove oil can be dangerous for children and may lead to seizures, liver damage, and fluid imbalances.
Pregnant women should avoid using clove oil.
Clove Oil: Don’t Forget The Dentist
While clove oil can be effective in numbing your toothache, it is not a long-term solution. If the toothache persists, go see your dentist.
A toothache that lasts for more than 1 or 2 days, requires an appointment to see a dentist.Untreated toothaches can get worse.
Toothaches occur :
- tooth decay that leads to holes or cavities in the hard surface of the tooth
- a cracked tooth
- loose or broken fillings
- receding gums
- periapical abscess or a collection of pus at the end of the tooth caused by a bacterial infection
An untreated toothache may become infected and lead to worse pain.
Dental treatments may include any of the following:
- removing a decayed area and replacing it with a filling
- removing and replacing loose or broken fillings
- carrying out root canal treatment on an infected tooth