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Clove Essential Oil, The Classic Remedy for Toothaches & Gum Infections

bottle of clove therapeutic essential oil with a. w. mumford 1901 botanical illustration
The most powerfully antiseptic essential oil as well as a topical anesthetic, Clove is considered a classic remedy for dental health

The most powerfully antiseptic essential oil as well as a topical anesthetic, Clove is considered a classic remedy for dental health, easing both toothaches & gum infections. 75-87% eugenol, clove has an astonishingly high ORAC rating of 10,787 per 1 gram ~ the highest antioxidant value of any known food on earth. (For comparison, oranges have an ORAC rating of approx 7.60 per gram.) Clove oil, even used in tiny quantities, offers significant antioxidant benefits.

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CLOVE Therapeutic Essential Oil’s Healing Properites

Analgesic, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Infectious, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Parasitic, a STRONG Antiseptic, Anti-Tumoral, Anti-Viral, Disinfectant, Immune Stimulant, and Warming (SOURCE: Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley)

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Here’s how CLOVE essential oil came to the rescue in our dental health emergency this week.

My hubby, Bill’s rear lower molar had been bothering him for a month. (He thought work-related stress was irritating the nerve…which had happened before.) Thursday, it became TOO much…and started throbbing, radiating pain along the jawbone and up the side of his face. Bill had been feeling extra fatigued, getting dour and irritable, in the prior few days. Guess toxins from an infection will do that to a person.

always buy the best essential oilsI had suggested to Bill several weeks ago to start dabbing the tooth & surrounding gum line with undiluted CLOVE oil in case there was an infection. But as some hubbies are prone to do, he hadn’t bothered. Reminded him again that using Clove oil would help stop the infection FAST! And help numb the pain with it’s topical anesthetic properties.

Initially, Bill applied a versatile antiseptic essential oil blend with a cotton-tipped swab dabbing it around the inflamed gum line and right on the sorest areas. Within 1 minute, the pain & discomfort were reduced by 30%. He repeated the application a 2-3 times.

(COMMENT: The clove oil in [the antiseptic essential oil blend] is VERY spicy and numbing, so do expect this and don’t be surprised, when you use CLOVE or [a blend containing Clove EO]  for a toothache or gum infection. Also, in a few minutes after applying it you will begin to feel like you have a mild fever. Your face will get warm as the Clove essential oil floods every cell in your body. Don’t be alarmed. It’s simply stimulating your immune system to fight the infection.)

photo of german chamomile flowers therapeutic essential oil bottle by original swiss aromatics
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) therapeutic essential oil

German Chamomile Therapeutic-quality Essential Oil
Offered the 1-2 Punch!

I also suggested Bill use German Chamomile on the outside of his cheek along the painful nerve pathway on his jaw. With the strongest anti-inflammatory compounds of any essential oil and complementary analgesic properties, I knew this deep indigo blue oil would reduce both nerve inflammation and the associated pain.

Bill put a few drops of German Chamomile essential oil along his jawbone, over his cheek, and up to his forehead. In less than half an hour, he was feeling MUCH better!

I had made dental appointments for us, but they were still a month away. So, Bill called to see if he could get in for an emergency afternoon exam. Our new dentist asked Bill to come in right away. Turned out my sweet guy had a deep infection of the root and tooth crown that had started near the gum line. Dr. S. arranged an appointment for a root canal  the next day with Dr. B, an endodontist (root canal specialist), so Bill wouldn’t have to suffer through a horribly painful weekend.

Mid-afternoon, when Bill got home from the emergency dental appointment, he continued using Clove oil to augment effects of the antibiotic prescription Dr. S. had given him. And applied German Chamomile essential oil to his cheek to relieve the neuralgic pain.

By 9pm in the evening ~ only 5 hours later ~ when Dr. S. phoned to see how Bill was doing (a REAL doctor / what service!), and asked if the Vicadin was helping with the pain, Bill said he was hardly in any discomfort at all and hadn’t taken any Vicadin, yet. Bill commented the single dose of antibiotic he HAD taken, when he got home, was “already working.”

Overhearing the phone conversation, I noted a subtle tone of disbelief in Dr. S.’s voice, but being a gentleman and a real doctor, he wasn’t about to dismiss what he probably thought was a placebo effect of Bill’s optimism. Dr. S. encouraged Bill take some Vicadin before bed and to continue with the every-8-hours antibiotic prescription routine to minimize the infection before his root canal surgery the following day.

I, of course, have NO doubts, the therapeutic Clove and German Chamomile essential oils were actually responsible for the dramatic, rapid reduction in Bill’s pain and discomfort.

Root Canal Follow-Up

The root canal procedure went well under Dr. B.’s skilled hands. With Novocaine, pain and discomfort during the dental surgery were minimal. Dr. B. gave Bill a dose of 800 mgs of Ibuprofen, after the procedure, along with a prescription to fill…and the firm advice to take the pain meds every 8 hours for the whole weekend. Thinking we had some Ibuprofen at home, we never filled the prescription.

Bill continued to use Clove and German Chamomile essential oils directly on his gums around the molar. And applied German Chamomile to the skin over his cheek and jaw to keep post-dental surgery inflammation minimized.  (COMMENT: Clove is too irritating to use undiluted on skin, while German Chamomile is completely safe.) Now, 26 hours after root canal surgery, Bill hardly has any discernible pain at all ~ without ANY pain meds ~ even, when he crunches down hard on his temporary filling! LOVE those awesome therapeutic essential oils!!

6 thoughts on “Clove Essential Oil, The Classic Remedy for Toothaches & Gum Infections”

  1. I have always loved the oils. My favorite is Cinnamon Bark, Thieves, Panaway, Christmas Spirit, Lavendar and Peppermint. This last week, my back tooth broke in half. I previously had a root canal done. When I saw my sister last week she said to get into a dentist because the root canal that was done failed. I haven’t been able to get into a dentist but I remember that my mom had told me about Clove oil to kill the infection. Today has been the most painful by far, woke up with a migraine , swelling, little white pockets on my gum where the infection is and pounding jaw pain. So, I took my mother’s advice but instead of no diluted Clove oil, I used Thieves oil. I dabbed my gums with a cotton swab, where the tooth was divided, I dropped the oil. It burned a little at first but a half hour later my swelling is down, pain in the jaw isn’t nearly as bad and there are no white pockets on my gums!!! These oils are AMAZING!

    • Candice ~ Thanks for adding your GREAT Thieves testimonial to our article. Totally agree with you “These oils ARE amazing!” Keep treating your broken tooth and gums until you can see the dentist. Sounds like your tooth was too fragile and cracked. That has happened to me, too. It’s not necessarily a bad job by the dentist…they will be able to tell when you go in for an appointment. Glad your pain and infection are subsiding.

  2. I’m new to this whole Essential oils thing and tonight is the first time I’m ready to buy a small bottle. Haha.
    My friends mom started using them and swears by them. I was wondering if the Clove bud EO works the same? I had a crappy filling done about two years ago and it’s slowly deteriorated. I’m done taking ridiculous mounts of mucle relaxers and otc pain killers to stop the god awful toothache. So, I was wondering if I could used the clove bud EO for this, just as long as I need until my dentist appointment to fill the cavity?

    • Katie ~ Clove essential oil will help manage both pain and the infection. But it’s a ‘HOT’ oil and will irritate your lips, if you don’t apply it carefully. I use the antiseptic essential oil blend Candice mentions in her comment, protecting my lips with lip gloss or organic virgin coconut oil, first. Please do get to your dentist to have that infected tooth taken care of ASAP though!

      What company’s essential oils does your friend’s Mom use? Are you interested in learning more? Here’s an article about therapeutic essential oils.

  3. I have a lot of bone loss and my teeth are coming out one by one growing right out of the bone. I have pulled some with my fingers and no pain. I have one small sized molar on side of top that is loose. I want to pull it but it is inflamed and hurts a bit. Can I use clove oil and olive oil to numb it enough to pull the tooth myself. I am 70 years old and can not afford to pay a dentist $200 a tooth to pull. The teeth come out easily, but this one seems a tighter hold, but it will come out. It’s just that it is still connected to the nerve where the others were not. I just need to numb it so I can pull it

    • Sharon ~ I don’t have personal experience with a situation like yours….though totally understand how expensive dental work is! Clove essential oil is very numbing. It’s best used to kill the infection and heal the gums. There are ways of healing our mouths rather than getting rid of teeth we can’t grow again. Coconut oil ‘pulling’ and using pure steam-distilled essential oils work well.


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Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

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Pre-paid on an hourly basis

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