In addition to their use as a spice for cooking, cloves have been used to provide relief for pain and discomfort. One of the most common uses for cloves is to aid in the relief of toothache. It is always advisable to seek professional help when experiencing toothache; however, the clove remedy can be used as a temporary measure until the problem is clinically analyzed. Although clove contains eugenol, a chemical component that acts as a natural anesthetic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has downgraded its effectiveness for toothache pain due to a lack of evidence.
Grind two or three whole cloves into fine pieces using a mortar and pestle.
Add two to three drops of olive oil and continue to grind until it forms a paste.
Using a cotton swab, apply the mixture to the affected tooth and surrounding area. It may be useful to have someone apply the paste for you.
Reapply the mixture as necessary.
Use the whole clove as an alternative method by placing one (whole clove) in the mouth and holding it next to the affected area for about 30 minutes. As the clove softens, begin to gently chew it to release the oils that aid in the relief of pain. Repeat as needed.
You can use clove oil and clove powder in place of whole cloves.
Do not use clove oil for children because serious health problems including seizures, liver damage and fluid imbalances can result. Do not swallow the mixture or the whole clove. It is usual to experience a feeling of numbness in the affected area. Frequent application of clove oil in the mouth or on the gums is believed to cause damage to the gums, tooth pulp, skin and mucous membranes. Use only as a temporary measure. Pregnant women are advised not to use clove oil in medicinal quantities, because not enough is known about its safety. Even though you may feel better after applying clove, it is still advised to get the tooth checked by a dentist.
Jan Williams, an educational consultant, licensed teacher and Applied Behavior Analyst, has been writing for over 15 years with a novel and published children's book in her repertoire. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Arts in education and is in the final stage of her doctorate.