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Teeth conditions (toothache)

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also AbscessGum Conditions, Teeth GrindingTooth decay

Toothache refers to the pain associated with the teeth and jaws.  The common causes of a toothache are tooth decay (cavity), cracked or chipped teeth, infection, filling failure, exposed tooth roots, orthodontic procedures, tooth extraction, trauma, and gum disease.  Inflammation from any of these sources can put pressure on the nerve endings in the interior of the tooth resulting in mild to intense pain.  Preventive measures, using essential oils are discussed under Gum and Mouth Problems.  Here we discuss the immediate relief of pain.

Dentists, as well as those familiar with home remedies, know that the simple Clove spice can be used for pain relief associated with the teeth and gums. Clove essential oil provides that same property with a much higher level of concentration. Other essential oils such as Protective Blend add significant help.  The video below summarizes a powerful protocol for relieving the pain of a toothache.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  CloveC, Protective BlendC

Essential oils based products: Protective Blend Toothpase

Also consider: Birch, Cinnamon, Lemon, MelaleucaC, Mountain Savory, Peppermint, PurifyC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Pain: 1-2 drops each Clove and Protective Blend® to area as needed (dilute for children)

 Hygiene during time of painful conditions: Supplement regular brushing/flossing using Protective Blend® Toothpaste with  2-5 drops of Protective Blend and 1-3 drops of Clove to a mouthful of warm water in a glass.  Use the Oil Pulling technique of swishing the mixture for 5-10 minutes in the mouth. Do not swallow the mixture when finished. . Add Lemon or Peppermint to improve taste. Continue regular oral hygiene, see dentist.

Adults: the Clove can also be rubbed directly on the painful tooth and gum area for immediate relief.

Children: For a child’s toothache or for teething pain dilute the Clove oil with a pleasant tasting carrier oil before rubbing on the gums.

Special Precautions: Clove is a “hot” oil and can be uncomfortable for some, so consider using it diluted with a carrier oil or water.

A suggested toothpaste recipe

((...) also makes an essential oils based toothpaste with the Protective Blend, Protective Blend toothpaste.)

  6 tsp baking soda

  1/3 tsp salt

  1/2 tsp xylitol (a natural sweetener)

  4 tsp glycerin

  10 drops Peppermint

  3 drops Protective Blend

  2 drops Melaleuca

  3 drops Birch

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Giovanni - I have discovered from personal experience that tooth pain can be addressed very effectively with Clove oil by simply applying it to the "outside" of your face by where the tooth is located. The Clove oil seems to get to where it needs to go as quickly from the outside of the mouth as from the inside. It is also important to apply it frequently to support the healing. Adding Frankincense is also very beneficial to reduce inflammation.

Skipper - I am a EDDA, (Expanded Duty Dental Assistant) by trade.  Here are reasons for pain after an extraction.  Some times the patient may have a dry socket, which is when the blood clot that forms inside the socket after an extraction.  This can be very, very painful.  The dentist can identify this problem.  But sometimes the injection site may also be painful as the area is like a cobweb of small nerves.  Or if the extractions are on the upper arch, the sinuses may be involved.  And then there is the issue of ongoing infection from some other teeth.  Yes! Our mouths are very complicated!!!  So maybe start with a Melaleuca pull in the mouth a couple of times a day for infection.  Also, Clove (diluted) is very good for the pain and has a numbing effect. Then lastly a sinus infection can make the teeth hurt as that area is healing. In that case I would use the appropriate oils for the sinus infection as well.  I hope some of this helps!

Rob – Let me add my testimonial.  I had some serious tooth pain that I stopped by using a mixture of Protective Blend and Clove (Protective Blend already has Clove, but I added more for an increased analgesic effect)  I mixed it with a couple tablespoons of water and would swish and pull the water for about 5 minutes.  I did this 2-3 times per day.  After a few days I only had to do the pulling once or twice a week.   You could also use Basil, Oregano or Lemongrass. The oils are amazing...

Cindy - I had terrible mouth and teeth problems and used the following protocol with GREAT success.

·    Morning and night I would brush my teeth using 2 drops of Protective Blend on my brush. No toothpaste.

·    Mornings I would oil pull with 2 drops of Clove and 2 drops of Lemon and a little over a teaspoon of coconut oil.  Spit it out after about 10 minutes.

·    At night I would oil pull with 1 drop Oregano and 2 drops of Lemon and a little over a teaspoon of coconut oil.  Spit it out after about 10 minutes.

·    At work after lunch I would oil pull and gargle with 3 drops of Protective Blend, 2 drops of Melaleuca, and about 2 tablespoons of water.  Swallow or spit after about 5 minutes.

The Clove in Protective Blend helps greatly with pain. Also I used Virgin Coconut Oil but fractionated will work too, I suppose.

Jan FL - I cannot use any kind of Novocain or anything with cain in it for that matter, and when I go to the dentist, I put a drop of Clove essential oil on the tooth to be drilled, and I don't need any anesthesia. The dentist is amazed that he doesn't need to give me a shot. We just keep applying a drop every 30 min or so. I love these oils!

Adrienne - I have always had a little bit of infection in a root canal I had done few years ago. To get rid of it my dentist is suggesting a major procedure. I don't want to do it. Do you think this oil pull protocol will help?

Pat - I truly think the oil pull protocol will help.


Kathy – I just had a wisdom tooth out and I am in a lot of pain. I have taken some strong painkillers but it doesn’t seem to help, the whole side of my head is aching. The dentist said don’t swish anything till tomorrow and only use salty water? Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

Leah – Clove. Or maybe even Protective Blend, because it has Clove in it. I would just apply some to a Q-tip and gently dab the tender spots. Maybe some Soothing Blend on the outside of your jaw? I bet Birch would work too.

Suzy - Put Clove oil on a Q-tip and apply to the area as much as you can stand.  It really works!  If you have a small pipette, you could even drop a drop of oil into the open cavity left behind.  Hope this helps!  

Heather - I just put Protective Blend on my gum because they felt infected. It numbed it really well. Now my gum feels better.

Brooke - Also use Frankincense on the outside of your jaw and cheekbone to help with swelling and healing.

Pat - These are all good suggestions, I still prefer the oil pull of 2 tbsp Fractionated Coconut oil with 2 drops of Clove and 2 drops of Oregano. Don't swish just hold it in your mouth for 10 minutes. You will be amazed.

Kathy - Thanks everyone, I am feeling much better today. Have been using all the suggestions but haven’t swished yet. I am going to try that suggestion now.

Laura – With any sore in the mouth I use Melaleuca.  I have a spray bottle filled with water and some Melaleuca (I can't remember how many drops, but it was not many) on hand and any time we have a sore throat, mouth pain, bite on our cheek, after the kids pull teeth, etc. we use it.  Just spray it in all around the mouth and then you can swish after if you want, or just let it sit a minute and spit.  It works great- much better than our old OTC sore throat spray- or Orajel.  I also use Protective Blend on my toothbrush when my teeth start feeling sensitive or sore and it will work for a couple days at a time at least!


Jess - Lucky me. I've had pain for 3 days and the dentist diagnosed the need for a root canal. The X-rays show no infection nor a cavity, possibly a hairline crack. I've read about the recommended oil pull protocol and I will start that tonight. My question is: does anyone have any info of oils helping repair teeth cracks?

Pat - Right now just do the Clove, Oregano and coconut oil protocol. I am not sure about why the teeth crack, that is what happened to me and the oil pull helped so much.

Jeanne - Fluoride is a hardener of tooth enamel for sure, but it hardens them to the point of being brittle. It also blocks absorption of other minerals. There is an excellent book by Ramiel Nigal called "Heal Tooth Decay" that can be found online. It contains diet and other things you can do to help heal your teeth naturally. It is worth a look. It based on research done by Weston A Price.

Jess - The oil pull is helping tremendously. I'm guessing that is why they can't detect any infection. I've been fluoride free for 15 years now so I hope I've worked out the majority of it from my system. Apart from growing up in a community where the water had a high quantity of fluoride in the water, 20  years after moving away my teeth have a more healthy appearance.

Christine - I would certainly try Birch - you could put it directly on the tooth.  I just had a tooth pulled that was an old root canal.  The dentist said root canal teeth are not strong and they are brittle.  This "dead" tooth was also affecting several organs in my body and I am now trying to heal them with oils.  I know of 2 alternative dentists who would not do root canals. There is a reason.  Do some research before you have this done.

Pat - My son-in-law is the one who got me starting on this oil pull after my tooth fractured. He also told me that consistent use also got rid of a cavity. Don't you just love these oils?

Jess - I really do. I've seen decay in my children's mouths disappear as we started making our own toothpaste with our oils. Amazing!

Sunny - Just curious... What oils did you use to take care of the tooth decay?

Just a 'heads up.'  I had an experience with pain in the gum line above my most upper left-hand tooth several years ago.  The dentist could see no reason for it - no infection, nothing in x-rays.  I had a root canal and that did not stop the pain.  I was really worried that whatever was causing the pain would spread to other nearby teeth.  So, after consulting with my dentist, I had the tooth removed.  This was all before I began using essential oils.

Turned out that a few months later, the pain returned.  This time, I was not so quick to extract more teeth!  I had heard that sometimes the mouth (teeth, gums, etc) reflect what is going on elsewhere in the body.  By this time, I was using oils and applied what worked for me in the area (Peppermint).  Detoxing with GI Cleansing Formula and consistent use of LLV has permanently eradicated the pain.


Jess - After years of poo-pooing my homemade concoctions, my lovely 12 year old daughter asked me to make her some toothpaste. It turned out to be a really good batch. So good that almost everyone in the house is using it. Today while getting ready for school said pre-teen daughter commented that her acne has cleared for no apparent reason. Her younger 10-year-old sister's acne has cleared as well with the only routine change being the toothpaste. Our teeth are significantly whiter too. So now she is amazed that a product for her teeth would effect her skin and I am her hero ( for a minute.)

Toothpaste recipe

  6 tsp baking soda

  1/3 tsp salt

  1/2 tsp xylitol (a natural sweetener)

  4 tsp glycerin

  10 drops Peppermint

  3 drops Protective Blend

  2 drops Melaleuca

  3 drops Birch

I mix it up and keep it in a 4 oz mason jar. We keep a baby spoon with it that we rinse betwix uses. I've put it in plastic travel shampoo bottles in the past but it separates and needs stirring occasionally. Let me know if you have a better delivery system.

Brenda - What is xylitol, where do you get it and what form is it, liquid, powder? I am anxious to try this.

Editorial comment – Also see the Science and Research tab above for more information on xylitol.  Glycerin is made from animal or vegetable fat.  The vegetable fat type is preferable and is available at pharmacies like Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, or online.

Jess - It is a sweetener that is good for your teeth. It whitens them. I get it from the health food store. It comes in powdered form.


Protocols folks recommend for children


Eddie never had great teeth.  It seemed like no matter how often he brushed, no matter how much care he gave his teeth, he would at least yearly end up having to go to the dentist with a toothache and more cavities. 

One day Eddie was eating some nuts, when the crunching in his mouth became noticeably different.  The nuts he thought he was crunching were much harder than nuts.  Eddie went to the sink, and spit out some of the nuts, shocked to see that there were pieces of black and silver in the mixture.

Eddie got a small glass and started to rinse his mouth out with water.  As he did, he felt a horrible stabbing pain in the back of his mouth.  He felt the area of pain with his tongue and realized that there was a very large hole, right where there was once a filling.

Eddie from then on used very warm water to rinse his mouth, knowing that the area where he lost his filling was very sensitive, especially to anything cold, even cool air.

The last time Eddie had, had a toothache, his friend John had given him some essential oils that really helped.  Eddie went to the phone to call John.

“Hey John, its Eddie.  I have a filling that has come out.  Do you have some of that oil I can use till I can get it fixed?”

“It’s called Protective Blend, Eddie, and yes I have an extra bottle you can buy.”

Eddie was a little disappointed that John did not offer it to him for free like last time.  But was excited that he had some.

“Come on over any time you want.”

Within the hour, Eddie was at John’s door.  John was holding a small bottle. “I opened it already and put a few extra drops of Clove oil in it, because that will give the Protective Blend extra strength to relieve the pain.”

With that, Eddie paid him for the bottle, had John reminded him of how to use it, and he rushed home to get some relief.

Eddie got a small glass of warm water, only 1 or 2 tablespoons, and poured 4-5 drops of the Protective Blend with extra Clove into the water.  He then quickly dropped his head back and poured the tonic in his mouth.  He then began to swish and pull the mixture through his teeth, creating pressure with his cheeks and tongue.  He instantly began to feel relief from the exposed area, and continued to swish for almost 10 minutes.  He then spit out the mixture in the sink.  He paused for a moment, waiting to see if the pain returned.  He then carefully breathed in some air over the area of the lost filling, almost cringing in anticipation of the pain, but the pain was gone.

It was nearly three hours before Eddie began to feel the pain return to his mouth.  He did the rinse again and continued two or three times a day over the weekend till he was able to get an appointment and get the cavity filled.

The other pleasant surprise was when he got to the dentist.  After examining Eddie’s mouth for a few minutes, the doctor commented.  “Eddie, I’m not sure what you use to brush your teeth, but your mouth and gums look incredible.  Keep doing whatever you are doing!”

Eddie smiled to himself, realizing that he had a great secret.

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying

Dental pain and Clove essential oil.

MedlinePlus gives the following for dental pain and Clove essential oil:

"Clove essential oil is commonly used as a dental pain reliever. Early studies have found that a homemade Clove gel may be as effective as benzocaine 20% gel. Clove oil combined with zinc oxide paste may be effective for dry socket (inflammation after tooth extraction)."

The basis for this conclusion is rated as "Good scientific evidence for this use"


The effects of Lavender scent on dental patient anxiety levels: a cluster randomised-controlled trial.

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;38(1):83-7. Epub 2009 Nov 23.  Kritsidima M, Newton T, Asimakopoulou K.   King's College London, Dental Institute, Denmark Hill, London, UK.



To review the effect of Lavender scent on anticipatory anxiety in dental participants.


In a cluster randomized-controlled trial, patients' (N = 340) anxiety was assessed while waiting for a scheduled dental appointment, either under the odor of Lavender or with no odor. Current anxiety, assessed by the brief State Trait Anxiety Indicator (STAI-6), and generalized dental anxiety, assessed by the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were examined.


Analyses of variance (anovas) showed that although both groups showed similar, moderate levels of generalized dental anxiety (MDAS F((1,338)) = 2.17, P > 0.05) the Lavender group reported significantly lower current anxiety (STAI: F((1,338)) = 74.69, P < 0.001) than the control group.


Although anxiety about future dental visits seems to be unaffected, Lavender scent reduces state anxiety in dental patients.



Antimicrobial activities of the volatile oils of Ocimum bacilicum L. and Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae) against some aerobic dental isolates.

Editor’s note: Basil (Ocimum bacilicum) and African Basil ( Ocimum gratissimum) used in a toothpaste.

Pak J Pharm Sci. 2009 Oct;22(4):405-9.  Ahonkhai I, Ba A, Edogun O, Mu U.    Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.


Essential or volatile oils of plants have been variously reported to have many medicinal applications. Their probable uses against oral microbes have received little attention. Oral swabs obtained from eighteen dental patients at the University of Benin teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria, led to the isolation of twenty nine bacteria. Using standard methods, the microorganisms were identified as Streptococcus viridians (16; representing 55.17%), Staphylococcus albus (9; 31.04%), Klebisiella pneumonia (2; 6.90%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (1, 3.45%) and Proteus vulgaris (1, 3.45%). The antimicrobial activities of the volatile oils of Ocimum Basilicum L. and O. gratissimum L. were evaluated on the twenty nine organisms using agar diffusion and agar dilution methods. In the susceptibility tests, the volatile oils of O. Basilicum and O. gratissimum independently inhibited the growth of Klebisiella pneumonia at a concentration of 0.51% in the agar; Streptococcus viridians and Staphylococcus albus at 1.10% and Pseudomonas aeruginosa at 10.0%. Proteus vulgaris was inhibited at 0.53% by the volatile oil of O. gratissimum and 0.67% by O. Basilicum. Separate incorporation of the volatile oils into tooth pastes (2 and 5%), the volatiles oils showed antibacterial activities comparable to a commercial tooth paste (which contains O. Basilicum 0.01% among others) against most resistant organisms. As components of mouth washes, the volatile oils completely inhibited the growth of organisms at a concentration of 0.5%.



What is Xylitol?

From www.angelFire.com

Xylitol is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it's also good for your teeth, stabilises insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health.

Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruit, as well as in corn cobs and various hardwood trees like Birch. It is a natural, intermediate product which regularly occurs in the glucose metabolism of man and other animals as well as in the metabolism of several plants and micro-organisms. Xylitol is produced naturally in our bodies; in fact, we make up to 15 grams daily during normal metabolism.

Although xylitol tastes and looks exactly like sugar, that is where the similarities end. Xylitol is really sugar's mirror image. While sugar wreaks havoc on the body, xylitol heals and repairs. It also builds immunity, protects against chronic degenerative disease and has anti-ageing benefits. Xylitol is considered a five-carbon sugar, which means it is an antimicrobial, preventing the growth of bacteria. While sugar is acid forming, xylitol is alkaline enhancing. All other forms of sugar, including sorbitol, another popular alternative sweetener, are six-carbon sugars which feed dangerous bacteria and fungi.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1963, xylitol has no known toxic levels. The only discomfort that some sensitive people may notice initially when taking large amounts is mild diarrhoea or slight cramping. Since the body makes xylitol daily, as well as the enzymes to break it down, any discomfort usually disappears within a few days as the body's enzymatic activity adjusts to a higher intake.

Xylitol has 40 per cent fewer calories and 75 per cent fewer carbohydrates than sugar and is slowly absorbed and metabolised, resulting in very negligible changes in insulin. About one-third of the xylitol that is consumed is absorbed in the liver. The other two-thirds travels to the intestinal tract where it is broken down by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids.

Xylitol looks, feels and tastes exactly like sugar and leaves no unpleasant aftertaste. It is available in many forms. In its crystalline form, it can replace sugar in cooking, baking or as a sweetener for beverages. It is also included as an ingredient in chewing gum, mints and nasal spray.


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