This instructable will show you how to make a decoction from whole cloves but I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that clove oil can be purchased from most pharmacies and is, due to the steam distillation process, much more potent and effective at relieving severe dental pain.
[However if you are suffering from severe tooth pain you should consult a dentist. Clove oil should only be used for temporary relief as prolonged use can deaden the nerve.]
Cloves have been used to treat toothaches since medieval times and knowing this trick can save you from experiencing a world of pain and discomfort. The active ingredient in clove oil is eugenol and this treatment is ideal for someone about to undergo a root canal or suffering from dry socket.
If you use clove oil to get relief from a simple cavity please do no do so repeatedly as it is possible to do more harm than good in the long run - only use this remedy to make the wait for your dentist's appointment go by more easily.
Step 1: Whole Cloves
Whether chewing a whole clove or using the oil you will want to spit - don't.
Wait a couple of minutes before rinsing your mouth out with water.
The analgesic effect should last a couple of hours and the bitter taste should subside in under ten minutes.
If you don't have access to clove oil and want to make a close approximation at home, grind whole cloves with a mortar & pestle, coffee grinder or blender.
You can also make clove tea to effectively relieve the pain with less mess - Thanks to putty1cat for sharing!
Step 2: Make a Satchel
You can also make a satchel full of whole cloves and chew on it. The oil will soak through the cheesecloth to your teeth and you won't wind up with bits of clove in your mouth.
Step 3: Oil & Boil
Place the jar into a double boiler for 30-50 minutes, then let cool.
Step 4: Wait & Apply
Add a few drops of oil to a cotton ball and apply to sore tooth.