Tooth pain can strike without warning and has several causes, including cavities and gum disease. Certain essential oils can temporarily reduce toothache pain and may have other benefits for oral health as well.

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Essential oils aren’t a substitute for a professional dental exam. However, they may be able to alleviate discomfort while you’re waiting for an appointment.

Research on essential oils has found them effective for managing toothaches. In this article, we’ll provide information about essential oils used for toothache pain and explain why they’re effective.


Essential oils are botanical compounds extracted from plants. Various parts of the plant may be used to obtain the oil, such as:

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There are around 100 types of essential oils. Each has its own scent and unique benefits. Essential oils have been used medicinally to treat pain, infection, and inflammation for centuries.

Several have modern-day research that backs up their effectiveness for reducing toothache pain. We’ll go over each of them next.


Clove essential oil is extracted from clove flower buds. This essential oil is high in eugenol, a chemical compound with analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Eugenol makes up around 90 percent of clove oil’s composition.

Clove oil’s analgesic properties make it effective for reducing tooth and gum pain when applied topically. Since it also has antibacterial properties, clove oil may also be effective for reducing bacteria that can cause cavities.

One study analyzed clove oil’s effect on teeth corroded by apple juice in a laboratory setting. Researchers found that clove oil was able to reduce the rate of tooth decalcification. Decalcification is loss of calcium that can erode enamel and lead to tooth decay.

The study also found that clove oil may have remineralizing effects. Remineralization strengthens tooth enamel. This protects teeth and tooth roots from the painful sensations triggered by hot, cold, or sweet stimuli.

How to useClove essential oil can be rubbed directly onto a sensitive tooth.If the sensation is uncomfortable, dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil.Try mixing 5 drops of the essential oil with 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil.Soak a cotton ball with the oil mixture and apply to the painful area for 10 minutes.Repeat several times daily.

Lavender’s soothing scent has made it a popular choice for aromatherapy since ancient times. Its effects haven’t been studied extensively for tooth pain. However, several studies have found that lavender can reduce the perception of pain.

One small study of 30 volunteers found that inhaling lavender essential oil significantly reduced stress and decreased pain.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of multiple pain-related studies found that inhaling lavender significantly reduced the experience pain across multiple age groups with varying health conditions.

Lavender essential oil contains linalool, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This may make it beneficial for reducing plaque on teeth and for fighting cavities.

How to useTo use lavender for tooth pain, place the essential oil in a diffuser or light a lavender candle and inhale the scent.

Peppermint essential oil is derived from the flowers and leaves of the peppermint plant. One of its main components is menthol.

Menthol is an analgesic, which helps mask the sensation of pain. It has also been shown to produce a counter-irritant effect on skin. Counter-irritants warm skin after cooling it, alleviating the sensation of pain.

Peppermint is also beneficial for reducing biofilm on teeth. It can be found in dental formulations, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

How to useTo use peppermint for tooth or gum pain, try soaking a peppermint tea bag in water and applying it directly to the painful area.

Frankincense essential oil is derived from Boswellia tree resin. It is also known as olibanum.

Studies indicate that frankincense has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought to reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting the action of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme that releases leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are compounds that generate inflammation in the body.

In China, Frankincense essential oil is used alongside myrrh essential oil as a treatment for reducing pain and inflammation.

When used in an oral preparation, frankincense has been found to have antibacterial properties that make it beneficial for fighting cavities and gum disease.

How to useFrankincense essential oil can be rubbed directly onto a sensitive tooth.If the sensation is uncomfortable, dilute it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil.Try mixing 5 drops of the essential oil with 1 teaspoon of the carrier oil.Soak a cotton ball with the oil mixture and apply to the painful area for 10 minutes.Repeat several times daily.

Proper use of essential oils for toothache pain starts with buying high-quality oils. Since essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, look for a well-known brand that comes from a trusted manufacturer. Read the ingredients and only buy pure oils, not those pre-diluted with other ingredients.

Essential oils can sometimes cause allergic reactions. Do a patch test on your leg or arm first before applying it to a tooth or your gums to make sure it won’t cause a reaction.

If you find that applying an essential oil is uncomfortable, try diluting it with a carrier oil or distilled water before applying.

Make an appointment with a dentist if your pain doesn’t subside or if the pain is accompanied by:

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Many essential oils, such as clove and frankincense, have benefits for reducing toothache pain.

Essential oils for tooth pain can be diluted in a carrier oil or distilled water before applying it to your mouth.

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No essential oil takes the place of a dentist’s care. If you have pain, inflammation, or swelling, make a dental appointment for an oral exam.


Last medically reviewed on May 19, 2021


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Medically reviewed by Jennifer Archibald, DDS — Written by Corey Whelan on May 19, 2021

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