Toothache has multiple causes. In addition to cavities, other causes of toothache include a loose filling, exposed root, a cracked tooth, a damaged crown, tooth grinding, or even a sinus infection.
Toothache can thus range in type and severity.
For example, constant and throbbing pain in part of the mouth that can’t be tracked down to a specific tooth usually indicates an inflamed and infected pulp.
Generally speaking, you will need to go to the dentist to deal with the cause of the toothache, for it will only get worse if left untreated.
For example, a tooth with a loose filling or crown will quickly develop a cavity – and no essential oil can really replace a crown or filling.
Essential oils, however, can help ease the pain, control the inflammation, and fight the infection. They can thus tide you over until you get to the dentist.
In many cases, the doctor or dentist will put you on an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing the infection.
Over the years, unfortunately, some bacteria have developed a resistance to antibiotics. Combining antibiotics with essential oils can reduce that resistance.
For example, pairing the antibiotic piperacillin with cinnamon, lavender, or peppermint oil reduces the ability of the bacteria to resist the antibiotic.
11 Best Essential Oils For Toothaches
If your dentist has already given you antibiotics or some other medication for your toothache, ask if you can use the essential oil.
While some combinations of essential oil and conventional medicines work well together, other essential oils and medications interact with each other in ways that can make your condition worse.
Never replace a conventional treatment with an essential oil without talking to your dentist first.
You should also talk to your dentist or doctor before using an essential oil if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a condition like heart disease, diabetes, or epilepsy.
Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from plants, most often through steam distillation.
The oil can be derived from various plant parts like flowers, tree bark, fruit rinds, or roots.
Essential oils can help improve dental health in the following ways:
The eleven essential oils listed below are considered particularly effective.
Many of the oils are so strong they should be diluted with a carrier oil or blended into a mixture before being used.
Similarly, many of the remedies are too strong to be safely used on small children or infants.
If your child is the one with the toothache, ask your pediatric dentist about the feasibility of using essential oils.
Clove Essential Oil
People have used clove essential oil to treat toothache for centuries. It is an anti-inflammatory that can reduce pain.
It can also fight infections and heal mouth sores. Clove also smells good, so it is often used in toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Clove’s pain-reducing capabilities match those of benzocaine. Scientists have found that it contains the compounds eugenol and beta-caryophyllene.
A 2011 study found that clove oil could indeed kill bacteria, especially if it was used in conjunction with gentamicin or ampicillin.
You can use clove as an ingredient in various treatments, or you can use it by itself. In the latter case, you apply two or three drops of clove oil to the cotton ball and place it directly on the aching tooth.
Keep it there for at least 15 minutes.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic that can kill the bacteria in cavities that cause infection. It is also anti-inflammatory with anesthetic qualities.
It can be used by itself or with other natural treatments. Tea tree oil can also be used to clean and whiten teeth. In 1994, the journal “Oral Microbiology and Immunology” published a study conducted by researchers in Germany.
They compared the anti-microbial effects of various essential oils, and found tea tree oil, along with sage oil and peppermint oil, had the strongest anti-microbial effects.
You can apply tea tree oil right on the aching tooth, but you need to be careful to not swallow any.
Cinnamon contains phytocompounds that have anti-inflammatory properties that increase the analgesic effects of any blend in which cinnamon is used.
Cinnamon oil also has anti-bacterial properties that enable it to fight infection. The oil is especially effective against the microbes that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Cinnamon oil also increases the circulation and sweetens breath.
You can add a few drops of cinnamon oil to water to make a mouthwash strong enough to fight Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria most responsible for tooth decay.
Peppermint has a cooling effect that reduces inflammation and soothes irritated gums. It is also strongly antiseptic.
In 2013, scientists at the Singhania University in India conducted a review of recent studies of the medical uses for peppermint oil, which has long been used in traditional medicine in both the West and the East.
It is also often used as a flavoring in medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum.
The researchers found that peppermint oil has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Peppermint oil can increase circulation and thus bring more oxygen and cells from the immune system to the affected area. Peppermint oil is also an analgesic that reduces irritation.
Add 10 drops of peppermint oil to one cup of water and swish the resulting mouthwash around your mouth for a few minutes. Be careful not to swallow any.
The Shaker religious group, which developed in the 18th century, made effective medicines from lavender and introduced them to the United States.
Lavender is a good treatment for toothache because it has disinfectant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties that help it fight infections. It is also anti-inflammatory.
In addition, lavender is often used in aromatherapy for its calming effects that make it particularly useful at night when a patient is trying to sleep.
You can apply lavender directly on the affected tooth, with or without a carrier oil like olive oil.
In aromatherapy, you would apply lavender to the skin along the jawline, so you can breathe in its calming vapors.
Unlike many essential oils, lavender is safe to use on babies and small children.
Frankincense essential oil can fight tooth decay and prevent infections on account of its antiseptic properties.
It can ease jaw pain by relaxing tight muscles, and it can reduce inflammation and thus ease the pain of an infected tooth.
Frankincense is made from the resin of trees in the Boswellia genus.
In 2016, researchers at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland, studied frankincense extracted from several different species of Boswellia.
They found that frankincense in general does indeed have anti-inflammatory properties, and it is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
Frankincense made from B. carterii or B. serrata is more powerful and effective than frankincense made from other species.
Myrrh essential oil, which is made from trees in the Commiphora genus, is an astringent. As such, it helps gums.
Myrrh oil also helps ulcers and canker sores heal quickly and can thus relieve toothaches caused by such conditions.
It also has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties and can stimulate the blood circulation.
Myrrh does have a woody aroma, so it doesn’t taste as good as some of the other oils on the list.
Eucalyptus essential oil is derived from a tree native to Australia. Eucalyptus oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In 2013, scientists tested the pain-relieving effects of eucalyptus oil on patients who had undergone knee replacement surgery.
The researchers found that inhaling the aroma of eucalyptus oil both reduced the patients’ pain and lowered their blood pressure. (source)
To use eucalyptus oil in this fashion, put 3 or 5 drops in a diffuser. Then inhale the oil for half an hour every day.
Chamomile essential oil has been used for centuries. While it is most famous as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety treatment, it can also be used to treat toothache.
It can reduce gum inflammation, and it has anti-bacterial properties that enable it to fight plaque.
In 2010, researchers published a review describing the results of scientific studies of chamomile.
They found that chamomile was a strong anti-inflammatory agent that could reach the deeper layers of the skin.
They also found a study that demonstrated that drinking chamomile tea boosted the immune system, for the tea has anti-bacterial properties.
Similarly, chamomile can speed up wound healing. Chamomile oil can be made into a mouthwash to treat toothache.
Ginger essential oil can be used to treat a variety of health problems, including toothache.
It has anti-bacterial properties that enable it to combat oral bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis.
In 2008, the science journal “Phytotherapy Research” published the results of a study that found that ginger contained compounds that were deadly to some of the bacteria that can cause periodontitis. (source)
Add 5 drops of ginger oil to a teaspoon of almond oil or some other carrier oil, and apply the mixture to the aching tooth.
Then gargle with warm water. Treat your tooth three times a day for five days.
Bay essential oil is made from the leaves of the bay tree (Laurus nobilis).
Bay oil has astringent and analgesic qualities that make it an effective treatment to toothache caused by neuralgia.
As an astringent, bay oil causes the blood vessels to contract and thus relieves pressure on the cranial nerves. Bay oil is also an antiseptic and antibiotic, so it can kill germs.
To treat toothache, add three drops of bay oil to a half cup of warm water, and swish it around your mouth. Use the treatment three times a day.
10 Natural Home Remedies For Toothaches You Can Make At Home
Using an essential oil to treat a toothache is fairly straightforward. In many cases, you simply add a few drops of the oil to a certain amount of water and use a cotton ball or swab to apply it to the sore tooth.
In some cases, you can use aromatherapy, in which you apply the oil to the skin right above the tooth or along the jawline.
The skin absorbs the oil and its therapeutic compounds, and you inhale the aroma that often relaxes you and/or relieves your pain.
You can also make various blends and mixtures, especially if you have a specific purpose in mind:
Blend For Relieving Severe Toothache
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 4 drops clove oil
- 3 drops cinnamon oil
Mix everything together. You can place one or two drops into the cavity, or you can use a cotton swab to apply the oil right on the tooth.
Be careful not swallow any saliva for a few minutes afterward.
Thieves’ oil is a mixture of clove oil, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, and rosemary oil. The mixture both reduces pain and fights infection.
You can use it as is or mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
Simply apply it on the affected tooth. You can also use thieves’ oil to treat gum disease and mouth sores.
Teething Salve For Babies
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- 3 drops clove oil
- 2 drops peppermint oil
Mix the ingredients in a small jar. Dab the mixture on the baby’s gums. You can use it when the baby is having teething pains or right before nap or bedtime.
The salve can also help adults with sore gums.
Chamomile Oil Mouthwash
- ½ cup water
- 3 drops chamomile oil
- 2 drops peppermint oil
Mix all the ingredients into a mouthwash. Use it to rinse your mouth twice a day for about a month.
It will reduce both dental plaque and gum inflammation.
Myrrh Oil Blend
- 1 tsp almond oil
- 3 drops myrrh oil
Mix the ingredients and apply the mixture to the sore tooth with a cotton ball or swab.
Use the treatment twice a day for one or two weeks. The blend can relieve inflamed gums as well as aching teeth.
Lavender Oil Blend
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 5 drops lavender oil
After mixing the ingredients, soak a cotton ball into the blend. Place it on the aching tooth and leave it there for ten minutes.
Then wash your mouth out with warm water. Use the treatment twice a day for one or two weeks. It will relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Peppermint Oil Gargle
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 5 drops peppermint oil
After mixing the two oils, gargle the mixture for about a minute. Use warm water to rinse your mouth. The peppermint oil is an anesthetic that works by blocking pain signals.
It also contains a compound called menthol, which is the source of the cooling sensation associated with peppermint oil.
Mouth Rinse For Tooth Pain
- 3 cups water
- 3 2-inch segments of ginger root
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 4 drops spearmint oil
Peel the ginger roots and cut them into paper-thin slices. Then boil the ginger slices in the water until about half the liquid has evaporated.
Strain out the ginger slices and throw them away, while keeping the water. Let the water cool to room temperature, and then add the oils.
Use the mixture every two hours, and hold it in your mouth for as long as you can.
External Hot Compress for Toothache
- 2 cups hot water
- 8 drops chamomile oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 2 drops frankincense oil
Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir them together. Dip a cotton ball or pad into the mixture and squeeze out any excess liquid.
Place the cotton on the jaw or cheek to treat widespread or undifferentiated pain.
Cavity Treatment Mouthwash
- 1 cup water
- 10 drops clove oil
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- 10 drops peppermint oil
Add all the ingredients to a small jar with a lid and vigorously shake it. Swish some of the mixture in your mouth for 15 to 30 seconds.
Be careful not to swallow any. The mouthwash will both kill bacteria and reduce pain.
Final Thoughts About Essential Oils For Toothaches
Some people are sensitive or even allergic to certain essential oils, so when you’re using one for the first time, do a patch test first on a small area of skin.
Some of the essential oils used to treat toothache are safe to ingest and can thus be used in teas and similar treatments.
Others, however, should not be ingested. Check the label to make sure it’s safe to swallow the oil.
Talk to your dentist or doctor before using an essential oil to treat a small child. With the exception of lavender, most essential oils are too strong to be safely used on children.
If the doctor allows you to use an essential oil to treat your child’s toothache, you need to supervise the treatment.
Quick Article Summary
As can be seen, there are many treatments for toothache that involve essential oils.
Researchers have examined the various oils and found that they have attributes and contain compounds that make them useful in treating toothaches and other ailments of the mouth and gums.
Many oils, for example are anesthetics, and some can kill the bacteria that cause infections and tooth decay.
Another advantage in using essential oils is that the various treatments and recipes are straightforward; they involve only a few ingredients and aren’t complicated to make or use.
Nobody wants to deal with a complicated or finicky treatment when they have a toothache.
The various treatments have somewhat different applications; there’s even one you can safely use on a baby. There is also another treatment designed for a toothache caused by neuralgia.
Pick the one that seems to best suit your needs and try it.
Just remember that essential oils won’t cure the underlying cause of a toothache; you will still need to go to your dentist to have them replace the crown or fill in the cavity.
They will, however, relieve your pain until you get to the dentist.
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