Toothaches are caused by inflammation and swelling, often due to an infected tooth or tooth decay.
You’ve got a little micro-universe of bacteria living inside your mouth, and they love to feed off of the sugars you eat.
According to the Mayo Clinic: (1)
“Acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can eat through the hard, white coating on the outside of your teeth (enamel), creating a cavity. The first sign of decay may be a sensation of pain when you eat something sweet, very cold, or very hot. Sometimes decay will show as a brown or white spot on the tooth.”
Sometimes tooth pain can be caused by gum disease, biting into something hard, flossing too roughly, grinding, impacted wisdom teeth, or getting food stuck in between the teeth.
Oral health is important for overall health.
Poor oral hygiene habits such as not flossing daily and not getting regular check-ups and cleanings at the dentist can set you up for a potentially uncomfortable experience.
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), oral diseases and infections can be directly linked to other health like heart disease.
If you’re looking for natural remedies for toothache relief and improved dental health, then essential oils and aromatherapy may work for you.
Essential Oils As Home Remedies
Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant extracts containing hundreds of active compounds known to support the body’s healing processes.
Different forms of EOs have been used as herbal medicine and natural remedies for hundreds of years by various cultures worldwide.
Many EOs can help boost the immune system, and thanks to their potent anti-inflammatory properties, they can help relieve swelling.
EOs also have documented antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, making them a good option for anything oral infection-related.
The cherry on top?
Some also act as potent analgesics and local anesthetics that can provide much-needed pain relief.
The 4 Best Essential Oils For Gum & Tooth Pain
Clove essential oil acts as a local anesthetic that can reduce pain by numbing the affected area.
It’s rich in Eugenol, an active compound that’s commonly used in dentistry.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Dentistry found clove oil to be as effective as benzocaine in relieving toothache pain. (2)
Clove oil is also effective at fighting gum disease and bad breath thanks to its potent antiseptic qualities.
Like clove, cinnamon is another heating (warming) oil that can soothe dental discomfort.
It’s a potent pain reliever, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic.
Cinnamon oil is a great option to soothe an existing oral infection and prevent future ones from forming.
This oil is one of the most popular ingredients in many types of toothpaste.
Its main active chemical, menthol, provides effective pain relief while also helping to cool discomfort and inflammation.
Peppermint is also a potent antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibacterial.
Oregano is sometimes referred to as ‘Nature’s antibiotic’ because it’s a strong disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic.
It’s also an effective pain reliever.
How To Use Essential Oils For Toothache
The best and most effective way to use EOs for tooth pain is to apply them directly to the affected area.
Check out our DIY recipes below for more information on how you can safely use EOs for oral care and healing.
When used safely and adequately, EOs usually offer little to no side effects.
In fact, many common dental hygiene products use essential oils as ingredients.
Be aware of each oil you use contraindications as some EOs aren’t suitable for children or pregnant or nursing women.
Always choose high-quality, certified organic and therapeutic grade products to avoid diluted batches and the addition of potentially harmful chemicals, especially when using EOs for oral care.
Don’t swallow or ingest EOs; make sure to spit them out and rinse your mouth afterward.
If you experience severe oral pain and discomfort or have an adverse reaction to any EO contact your dentist or health-care provider immediately.
3 DIY Recipes For Oral Care
Oil pulling is an ancient yogic and Ayurvedic practice that involves using coconut oil to cleanse and disinfect the entire mouth.
Coconut oil is a commonly used carrier oil for essential oils and it’s also antifungal and antimicrobial so it can work well with EOs for oral care.
Simply mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 2 drops of clove oil and 2 drops of cinnamon oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes.
Oil pulling is great for removing biofilm and plaque from every hard-to-reach corner of your mouth.
Making it a daily part of your oral hygiene routine first thing in the morning can help support a happy mouth and healthy gums.
If you’ve got acute or localized tooth pain then this simple and easy spot treatment is for you.
Mix 1 drop of clove oil and 1 drop of cinnamon oil with 3 drops of fractionated coconut oil or olive oil.
Mix well and apply directly to the painful area with a clean cotton swab or cotton ball.
Use this cleansing antiseptic mouth wash morning and night for best results.
In a small dark glass bottle with an airtight lid mix:
- 1.5 cups of distilled water
- ⅓ cup hydrogen peroxide
- 7 drops of oregano essential oil
- 8 drops of peppermint essential oil
- ½ teaspoon of pure Celtic sea salt
Protip: Change out your toothbrush or brush heads every month. This ensures you’re not introducing any potentially harmful bacteria back into your lovely mouth.