According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s website Simple Steps, an estimate 3% to 5% of tooth extractions can result in a dry socket. This is a painful condition that can take a while to treat with conventionally. There are conventional treatments for dry socket; however, if you prefer a fast and effective alternative remedy, clove oil is a natural painkiller and has antibacterial properties to protect against infection.
A dry socket can occur after a tooth is extracted and the resulting blood clot becomes dislodged prematurely. Usually after an extraction a blood clot will form in the empty socket left behind. After a while, gum and bone tissue will begin to form in the socket replacing the blood clot. If the blood clot is washed away too quickly, it will expose the bone underneath which develops into an extremely painful condition. It can also be difficult to treat with conventional medicine.
If you develop a dry socket you will immediately realize that something is wrong. You will notice intense pain radiating from your jaw to your ear within a few days of the extraction. Some people also develop bad breath, known as halitosis, after an infection begins to take hold in the socket. It is important to see a dentist immediately if you experience any of these symptoms to ensure that there is no remaining fragments of tooth or bone in the socket.
According to the University of Hawaii, clinical evidence suggests that clove oil provides relief from the pain of toothaches. It has been used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic and topical analgesic. Clove oil has been used for much more than just a spice, it can also be used to treat certain skin disorders such as rashes, to relieve nausea and even as an expectorant. James Duke, author of the “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook,” writes that clove oil can be used against infection due to its anti-microbial and antibacterial qualities. The German Commission’s E List includes clove oil as a topical anesthetic and it is used in many dental preparations for its pain-killing properties.
Treatment for Dry Socket
If you visit your dentist for treatment for a dry socket, he will most likely give you some form of anesthesia for the pain. Traditional dentists will flush the socket to remove any bacteria and debris and will then pack the socket with a medicated dressing. A few dentists will use dressings that contain clove oil to numb the area and kill any remaining infection. It’s important to ask your dentist to use clove oil if it’s not his regular practice.
Alternatively, you can place a drop or two of organic clove essential oil on the area to relieve pain and speed healing. Do this several times daily until the dry socket is healed. Clove oil is very strong and should be diluted with a small amount of olive or almond oil.
Seeking treatment for a dry socket immediately will help to significantly reduce the pain, but it may still take several weeks for the socket to heal. Those with existing medical conditions such as diabetes may find that it takes even longer for the socket to heal completely.
Preventing a dry socket from occurring in the first place is much easier than attempting to treat one. Maintaining proper dental hygiene is essential. Always ask your dentist to perform a full dental cleaning before extraction to lessen the chance of debris and tarter contaminating the open wound. Never use a straw for drinking as this may lead to the blood clot becoming dislodged. Cigarette smoke drastically slows down the healing process so always avoid smoking after an extraction. If you are given an antibacterial rinse, avoid rinsing your mouth out vigorously in order to ensure the blood clot remains intact. Dilute some clove oil in vegetable oil and dab it all around the tooth and gum before extraction. You can place cotton balls in your mouth to keep your lips away from the gum during treatment. The oil may sting slightly but this is to be expected.
Precautions and Availability
Never use undiluted clove oil on your skin or in your mouth as it is very strong and may burn the gums. Always dilute it in vegetable oil before use. Clove oil is available from health food stores and pharmacies that stock essential oils. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, discontinue use immediately and consult your dentist.
“The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing“; James Duke; 2002
My favorite organic clove oil
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