Clove Toothache Compress for Pain Relief

clove compressA toothache is a dreadful thing that sends a lot of people running straight to the dentist. Unfortunately they have a nasty habit of striking in the night, thanks to changes in blood flow, and when the dentist’s office is closed. Or, you simply can’t make it to a dentist. Either way, cloves make an incredible (and inexpensive) home remedy for toothaches. Long before we had the dental care we have today, dentists used cloves to help pain because they contain eugenol, a powerful anesthetic and antiseptic that stops pain in its tracks and wipes out germs. Eugenol remains popular and effective even now, and is still used by dentists today in a purified form that separates it from the essential oil.

Clove Compress Remedy for a Toothache- use this simple & effective natural remedy to get rid of your toothache pain.

There are 3 forms in which you can use cloves to numb your aching nerve: Ground or powdered, whole cloves, or clove oil. A clove oil compress seems to work the best, especially if you’re too sore to put whole ones in your mouth.

Ground: This is something that a lot of people have in their kitchen. First, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and wash your hands. Take a pinch of the ground cloves and apply it between the gum that is sore and your cheek. Your spit does the trick now, just wait while it mixes with the powder. The pain should subside rather quickly.

clove essential oil

ground cloves

Whole: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Take 2 or 3 cloves and hold them in your mouth as close to the sore area as possible, and wait a few minutes until they start to soften. When they do get softer chew them lightly to release more of the oils, if you’re not too sore.

whole cloves

Clove Oil Toothache Compress

Probably the most effective way to use to clove to help your toothache is to make a compress.

You will need…
Clove essential oil
-Cotton balls
-1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
-Cotton swabs (optional)

toothache compress


Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to get it nicely flushed out. By doing this beforehand, you’re allowing the oil to do its job the very best it can since there’s nothing to block it or make it hard to sink down into the sore spot.

dip in the olive oil

Mix a few drops of clove essential oil with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Thoroughly soak a cotton ball in this mixture and then hold it gently but firmly against the sore tooth or gum. If you wanted to take a shortcut, you could try putting some of the oil on a cotton swab and dabbing it directly where it hurts, however, jabbing a cotton swab onto a hurting tooth or gum may not be too comfortable.

Keep in mind that this is just a solution to get rid of the pain, not something that will cure whatever is making your tooth hurt. Brushing and flossing regularly and eating less processed sugary/salty foods can help prevent toothaches in the long run as well.

We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:


  1. Lisa Horan says:

    I use Frankincense oil and just rub it on the affected area.

  2. Gestur says:

    I use 10-12 drops tea tree oil in and 8 ounc glass of water and swish with it 3 times a day until the swelling or what ever is causing the pain subsides it useually only takes one time of swishing a full glass of it to notice the effects and my refrence for this treament came in a book i got with a 100ml bottle of tea tree oil its called (handy, healing tea tree oil)-by Dr. Joyce Tellier Johnson–and was compliments of
    it works wonders because it dose not just cover the pain it helps fight any infection in the gums and teeth just don’t swallow and and it works fine in my testing of it

  3. Mari says:

    You can’t use the Now brand internally so I don’t recommend putting it in your mouth!

    • Lauren says:

      Actually, the NOW website recommends diluting w/ another oil when using in a manner other than aromatherapy. Which is what she did.

    • annmarie says:

      All Now brand is considered food grade. I have been using theur clove oil in my mouth for oil pulling for years now. I spoke with a Now rep and they told me about the food grade. Probably best to check with them personally, just stating my experience.

  4. suzanne says:

    I had an extremely painful toothache and of course it began on a Friday night when no dentists in my area are open until Monday morning. My face swelled up to double it’s size on the side of the bad tooth and I was miserable. I warmed a 1/2 cup of water in the microwave, hot enough to feel the heat but not hot enough to burn me. I then added 1 tbls of ground cloves and 1tbls of sea salt and stirred. Taking a spoon I began putting 1 spoonful in to my mouth and swishing it around the painful area. I would swish until that liquid began to cool off. Then continued with another and another the same way until most of the cup was gone. It took the pain away each time I did this, approx. every couple of hours, where I had no problems waiting until I could see my dentist Monday morning. I tell you, it works and it is a life saver! I haven’t tried the clove oil since I did not have any but if this happens to me ever again, I will try the oil first. I wouldn’t have believed how well the mixture of ground cloves, sea salt and hot water worked if I hadn’t have done this. I was amazed and lived through that weekend!

  5. Mags says:

    I have had a root canal treatment over 30yrs ago, & a Crown & up until last week I had never a problem but then my gums got inflamed when? Of course the week-end 🙂 so I went to the Dentist on Monday & was put on a course if anti-biotics where they took down some of the inflammation it left a little inflamed lump in front of tooth. I got Clive oil yesterday at chemist & applied it. It’s still iffy but there is some improvement. I am going to try the gargle with sea salty water & will update how it’s going. Glad I came across the site, but then my philosophy is it found me when I needed it 🙂

  6. Alma says:

    I’ve used chamomile tea bags, just moisten with warm water and apply to affected tooth. It works well and it inexpensive.

  7. Tina says:

    My gf had this enouing toothache and we used the powder clove. It helped within minutes. I kind of remember my father was making this solution with alcohol, oil and clove and I am glad this website reminded me of such an easy home remedy. I hope my love will sleep well tonight! And we’ll definitely go to the dentist, preferably tomorrow 🙂 Thanks again!

  8. Rozz says:

    I use coconut oil for oil pulling (about 20 min), then I chew on a whole clove. I used to add one drop of clove oil to my toothbrush each morning if/when I felt sensitive areas; however, I was reminded that NOW brand is not to be consumed, so I just stick w chewing organic cloves from Thanks for this great site! 😀

  9. jill says:

    Sensodyne tooth paste 2 x a day Coconut oil pulling works great.
    Save or borrow money to go to a dentist if you don’t have one. No need to suffer too long and have moreissues if you wait to long.

  10. Julie says:

    Last night I had terrible pain after an extraction. I used fresh ground clove powder, 1 tablespoon, mixed with 2 tablespoons Bentonite clay and made a poultice dressing using gauze. Covered sore area. Made a fresh batch every 2 hours. 90 to 100 percent relief.

  11. Charlie Denton says:

    Ginger is an old favorite. Peel it and place it next to the pain. Then gently bite into it.

    You must though visit the dentist ASAP, even if the pain has gone.

  12. aziz says:

    want to buy Clove oil 100% pure kindly give price and also send coa

  13. joe smo says:

    my wisdom tooth hurts wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  14. tina says:

    cloves nor clove oil works have tried both and then i went to the dentist had the freakin tooth pulled

  15. a suffering woman no more says:

    My business is working with essential oils to make bath and beauty products, Naturally. I can tell you this, I too had suffering in the mouth…TONIGHT…lol…I ran out of my Clove oil, and so placed a bit of coconut oil in my mouth along with a few whole cloves. It literally took just a minute or two to get relief. Biting gently down on the Clove after it softens a bit, for sure helps so much more than not. You can even bite down a bit on the NON sore side of your mouth. With the oil of Coconut in my mouth already, it work like a transporter and takes that little bit of oil secreted from the clove, and circulates all around your mouth. I am sure if you don’t have coconut oil you can use olive oil or other, I have not tried doing this with just spit as others have done. Anyway, if YOU or someone you know is hurting, get them some cloves or clove oil and start feeling better ASAP! Hey, if you have nothing better to do, leave the cloves sitting between your gum and check for as long as you can. Its a lot better than being in pain. oh….I feel SO MUCH better now. My current dentist cant get me in for 2 full weeks….yikes!! so, my family will be travelling a 100 miles tomorrow to get to a good dentist. I live in North Dakota, and dentists are limited. The Drive should be nice too. Oh, ps…I prayed too along with my husband for the pain relief…Prayer helps and I give the Glory to God for my Relief and my Healing 🙂

    • WJB says:

      Thank you for your post. I agree – God can work wonders! Especially when we do all we can or know, then turn it all over to Him. I went to the dentist today after almost 12 hours of excruciating pain. The x-rays definitely showed a tooth abcess. He sent me home with an antibiotic script & an appointment for a root canal in a week. I didn’t want the painkillers that make me feel loopy, but tonight I’m in a lot of pain. I hope the cloves work!

  16. Kora says:

    Love your Philosophy 🙂 I’m in so much tooth pain,it’s going into my ear,throat and jaw. I’m taking my first round of penicillin. And placing clove oil on cotton balls in my mouth in that area of infected tooth.I can’t afford an extraction. Also I’m almost out of the clove oil kit I bought at Walgreens. So,I am gonna try the ground cloves as well. Good Luck to anyone with abscess teeth

  17. Deb says:

    Found this page, had nothing but cloves from my spice section put them next to the tooth killing me and within 2 minutes it’s done what codine hasn’t done in 3 days! Thanks for the info to try it!

  18. Carol says:

    I truly believe in the power of natural oils and herbs to help in all kinds of medical issues, but just want to warn: toothaches and tooth pain CAN be deadly! Infections CAN and often do travel from the mouth and gums to the jaw and the neck or BRAIN. Please! Be careful, and after using the above mentioned remedies for EMERGENCY situations where no dentist is available, get to a dentist and at least make sure you don’ t have a SERIOUS infection that could cost you your life! It isn’t worth it to be holistic and natural only to die of something that could have been prevented by readily available dental care.
    And God’s blessings to all.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have tried everything else that I could find and Nothing seemed to work! I’m not a big fan of going to dentist so thought I would toughen through this one. It kept getting worse and worse, with everything I kept trying. I came to your site and remembered that I have ground clove…that I only use for pumpkin pies in the Fall and thought, “what the heck, can’t make me feel worse than I do now!” OMG! This stuff took only seconds and now I have very very little pain. I’m glad I found something that I could do naturally, instead of wasting all my money on over the country stuff. Thank you again. My swollen face thanks you!

  20. Cindy says:

    Oil of Oregano – stops toothaches, even can cure infections, sore throats, etc. One drop goes a long way. One drop on toothbrush prevents most mouth issues. Usually comes diluted with olive oil. May want to dilute it further for tender spots. Helps my friend in this way – He puts it on his gums at night after removing his dentures. In the morning his gums are not swollen and dentures slip into place. Without the O of O his gums are always swollen and painful in the morning.

  21. Simin says:

    I had a very bad toothache a year ago. Dentist advised either root canal or pulling the tooth out. I declined both. Tried all kind of sensitive toothpaste to no avail. Baking soda paste and cloves didn’t work either. I then tried hydrogen peroxide 3% solution (swishing around mouth for few minutes and then spitting it out), the relief was immediate. Even though the treatment was advised for a month, I stopped after 2 times, as there was no pain. The pain came back a week later. I repeated the mouthwash with H2O2 once more & I have been pain free since!

  22. Taka says:

    Wow!! Wife sent me the link to this page as I think she may have had enough of me complaining about the pain. It really does work, and instantly too! Now I can (for the first time in a couple of weeks) really enjoy my meal without worrying about which side to chew on

    • becky says:

      exactly the same as me!!! I always chew on one side….I went for a filling the other day and it fell out within 4 hours!!! RIDICULOUS!!!!! I also have wisdom tooth coming through on same side…all my right side of mouth is killing me!!! I HAVE JUST USED CLOVE OIL ON A COTTON WOOL BALL-AND WEY HEY!!! WITHIN 2 MINS THE PAIN HAS GONE!!!!….never be without clove oil now until im in my 70,s (MAYBE WITH DENTURES 😉 )

  23. Jack says:

    Will definitely try this when my toothache acts up! It would be a blessing for this to work!

  24. Katie says:

    I’ve been suffering for 11 days as I can’t get to the dentist till tomorrow, omg clove oil has worked better than all the ibroprofen and other pain killers I’ve used

  25. Goerg says:

    Where can I find clove oil?? Is it exists in supermarkets?

  26. carey says:

    Clove oil at walmart is behind the pharmacy walls. You must ask for it. Just fyi.

  27. Paul says:

    Currently on the brink of passing out with pain. Am about to try this. Standby.

  28. Bradley says:

    I had a tooth that split in haft, and the pain was unbearable. The dentist couldn’t see me for two weeks so i found clove oil, or vanilla were great replacements OTC pain relief.

  29. susan says:

    Clove oil does not work at all!
    Only the dentist works!
    I’m in agony, ive tried clove oil and Worse!.
    I would say some constitutions fare better than others.

    • Catherine says:

      I completely agree. I am in sheer agony and I am going to dentist on Tuesday so I was looking for a quick fix until Tuesdsay. I thought that this was going to ne it but unfortunately not. Using ice bags to try and keep the two teeth frozen but I can’t take this to work and hold it on my face. I don’t want to take a day off work but I may be forced to take tomorrow off although I hope not.

  30. Hey_Honey says:

    Here’s the thing….I have an exposed nerve at the top of my mouth and biting down on a clove oil soaked cotton ball was completely out of the question. So what i did was rinse my myth out once with warm salt water, took a little bit of toothpaste on my toothbrush, added about 4 drops of clove oil on top, and proceeded to gently brush my teeth paying close attention to the exposed nerve. In about 30 secs I could feel the pain starting to ease, after 1 min, it was practically gone. I am so relieved! Now i can finally get some sleep!

  31. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this informative post, Claire. One time, my father-in-law was in extreme pain due to a bad tooth. Of course it was after hours, so he was going to have to wait to see a dentist. We used whole cloves, which helped him a bit, but I think the oil would be much easier to use.

    Pinning this one!

  32. Catherine says:

    Well the the Clove Oil didn’t wprk for me. I glad to hear that it worked for so many of you. I am having the teeth removed on Tuesday so I was just looking for a temporary fix until l get to the dentist on Tuesday. The pain is so intense. I may habe to go to emergency dentist tomorrow to get .y teeth pulled. My dentist is not in on Mondays.Oooh how l wish he was because l would be able to get it done on Monday. I hsven’t missed work because of it yet but I think tonorrow will be the first. I have not been sleeping well at all because of the pain. I am usislly aeoken at 2am to 4am in excruciating pain.
    So far I have done the Clove Oil and that didn’t work, moved onto my toothpaste Sensodyn Rapid Relief that helped a bit ( massaged it into my gums for60 seconds like it says on tne package), then I used the Magic Bag ( because that worked at one time), that didn’t bring any relief, then I took an Advil (waiting for that to kick in but who knows when they will stop working because i have been taking them so long) now using an ice pack to try and freeze the very sore teeth.
    The Clove Oil may be okay for a monor toothache but not for broken teeth where the nerve is exposed.
    It os great to know that tboshas helped some people but it didn’t help mea nd a few other people that I read about and to be honest I thought that they wanted to be different, I tried it and at first instant relief but it only lasted 2 mins and then the pain was back with avengence.
    So looking forward to Tuesday Iit can’t come quick enough. I know it is only approximately 36 hours away but when you are in a lot of pain like myself and you can”t sleep it seems like an eternity.

  33. Megan says:

    Spilanthes aka the toothache plant. Have never seen a tincture for sale and only once the plants for sale, but the seeds can be found online. Grow yourself, eat the leaves & flowers raw or make a tincture for future mouth care. Amazing plant! Can’t wait to see my little ones bloom.

  34. EekTheCat says:

    Something I wish I’d known before hand: if your tooth pain has something to with exposed nerve endings and roots, clove oil will STING. I spent most of a night wanting to rip my compromised teeth out of my own head. Took some extra strength Tylenol and managed to catch a few Zzz’s. Woke up in the morning and the pain had subsided.

    Some background: the exposed roots happened due to the pressure on a water pik being turned up too high. It separated my gums from the root of one of my right, rear and upper molars a year or so back and keeping it clean has been a twice daily challenge ever since. If mint toothpaste gets in there, or mouthwash, it has basically the same effect for about six hours.

    If you have exposed roots, avoid clove oil!

  35. Shianne says:

    I’m 31 weeks pregnant was suffering from a toothache for over two day couldn’t eat or sleep even would just sit there and cry then I got told to try biting on wholes cloves and it went away in seconds!!

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