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How do I Use Cloves for a Toothache?

By Meshell Powell
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A toothache can be painful and even incapacitating at times. It is always a good idea to see a dentist for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, but it is possible to use cloves to treat the pain of a toothache until you can get an appointment with a dentist. Cloves are a type of spice and are frequently used in cooking as well as in herbal medicine. You can use the cloves in the form of a powder or an oil, or they may be used whole. Each of these forms can be equally effective, so it is merely a matter of individual preference as to which form is used.

Many people prefer to use ground cloves for this purpose, in part because this spice is frequently already in the home as a spice used for cooking. To use ground cloves for a toothache, simply place a pinch of the powder between the cheek and gum near the affected tooth. The clove powder will mix with the saliva in the mouth and cause that area of the mouth to become numb.

Whole cloves can often be found at a grocery or health food store, although they can sometimes be a little more difficult to locate than ground cloves. Place a couple of cloves in the mouth near the affected tooth and hold them there for several minutes until the cloves begin to soften a little. At this point, you can gently chew on them in order to allow them to soften even more. This helps the natural oils mix with the saliva and numb the affected area. The cloves should stay in your mouth for about 30 minutes, and this process may be repeated as necessary.

Clove oil is a very popular toothache treatment, although many people may have difficulty finding it. Most pharmacies carry it, although it may be necessary to ask the pharmacist. Care should be taken when using this form of cloves for a toothache, as clove oil is very strong, and it takes only a very small amount to numb the affected tooth and surrounding tissues. A cotton swab can be dipped directly into the bottle of oil and then applied to the sore tooth.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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