Using Clove to Cure Toothaches




Clove oil is hands down the most effective home remedy for tooth pain of any kind.

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

You can simply place a whole clove into your mouth on or near the tooth that hurts, bite down & grind to release the oils, and wait. You'll know the oil has been released when you sense a bitter taste and a tingling sensation on your tongue and gums.

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

Cut a small square of cheesecloth, place a small pile of ground cloves in the centre and tie up with a piece of string.

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 satchel into the canning jar and cover with oil. Seal the jar tightly.

Place the jar into a double boiler for 30-50 minutes, then let cool.

Step 4: Wait & Apply

Leave sealed for 1-2 weeks to increase potency. 

Add a few drops of oil to a cotton ball and apply to sore tooth.

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    38 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    My dentist told me to use clove after having my wisdom teeth pulled, it really does work!

    I thought the thumbnail picture was a pile of rotten teeth :) Very appropriate!

    This is the main ingredient of commercial preparations, like anbesol. Nice to have a 'ibile to save several bucks!

    This is also used by dentists all the time. This is what's on the little q-tip they swab your gum with to numb it before sticking the novocain needle in, and mine packed in some when he attached a temporary crown.

    Still, if you have tooth pain at all, you should have it checked by a dentist, severe or not...getting some mild pain checked out can well prevent going from 'hey this tooth is sensitive to cold' to ' ouch ouch ouch ouch now I need a root canal!'


    Clove / clove oil has also traditionally been used to sooth sore muscles and other aches besides dental pain. Just use it as a topical salve and don't get it into an open wound, cut or scratch, etc.


    This actually WORKS !!
    My grandmother forced this "old-wives B.S." upon me.
    I was just about to kick her so I could get away when the pained stopped.
    After that I pestered her to teach me everything she knew.
    She knew a goddam awful lot !!
    It was more than once she tried to get rid of me with her boot. But I kept on at her.
    I only recently learned that her whole family has this knowledge and that she never went to the hospital once in her life.
    Are you kidding me or what!!
    Now that ive taught my sons and daughter the same (although I cant recall how i did it) Im pretty sure now that that old woman tricked into learning and passing on that "old wives B.S"


    1 year ago on Step 4

    I have a cranky tooth that will be coming out next appointment. It is a upper tooth cavity. I have the clove oil, can I do the cotton ball and clove oil. Tooth is loose but now cranky. My new dentist is for Oregano oil and most likely for clove oil. Liked your tips.


    1 year ago

    I tried n it worked thnx alot


    4 years ago

    Clove oil has always been a family favorite for my family when curing tooth pain! But the strangest thing is my grandmother is no longer around so i come to look for it online thinking surely someone else knows how she did it ? But i am finding that everywhere i go to it says to put the clove oil directly on the tooth which she never did ! She always warmed it and dipped a cotton ball in the oil and placed the oil filled cotton ball in my ear on whichever side the tooth was affecting me and she would have me lay on the other ear for 15 mins. and the pain would go away for hours !! Today i cant find clove oil anywhere and i dont know how long she warmed it for or if she mixed it with olive oil

    3 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I just bought pure essential clove bud oil and a herb store. Walmart has it but you have to order it online. They dont carry itbin the store.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I live in Barbados and we do have clove oil hear a lot, but i guess your mother would have gotten a saucepan and cloves put it on the stoves with heat turn down untill the oil came frm the clothes or u can try amazon


    Reply 4 years ago

    I bought clove oil from amazon. Most older pharmacies still carry it, too. This has been used in my family for generations. You can make your own from whole cloves which are in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. I mix it with olive oil, heat in the microwave till hit to the touch, but not burning, dip a Q-Tip or the end of a cotton ball in the warm mixture and apply completely around the sore tooth and gum. If its a dry socket or where a tooth was pulled, place the cotton ball in the sore spot. You should feel a tingling and soon relief will follow. Rinse your mouth out first with warm salt water as that will remove any film or loose bacteria floating around.


    1 year ago

    Bet you will never eat corned beef with cloves stuck in it ever again .


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable. It really works, but sometimes we can't wait for 2 weeks or so to obtain some clove oil to releaf a toothaches.
    when it occours, a really good shortcut is to apply the light from a red laser pointer over the sore tooth for a few seconds up to a minute, 3 times a day or more, if necessary.
    Common red laser pointers, these ones of 5mW only, works very very well, and are quite safe if no one decides to aim it on others eye, just for fun.

    4 replies

    What do you mean? I didnt think that a lazer could help with pain at all can it really do somethng

    Yes, it helps very well. I hope you never get a chance to try it yourself, but if it happens, try it
    I've used it a few times myself, one time with a ex-girlfriend, with some friends and relatives until now, all with good results.
    I've also commented with a two dentists who doesn't belive like you do, but they tried lasers and confirmed the efficacy.


    Reply 3 years ago

    this is interesting. Where do you get a red laser pointer from?


    Reply 2 years ago

    I just read this comment and went searching online. Apparently there are laser pointers that will work on pain! (But they usually aren't your regular $5 ones; they need to be more powerful.) I bet you could find one at an office supply place, Ebay, or Amazon.