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Can Oregano Oil Stop A Tooth Infection?

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Having a toothache and you're unable to make it to the dentist for whatever reason? Looking for a home remedy and you remembered you had some oregano oil. Does this stuff work?

Oregano Oil

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How to use oregano oil for a tooth infection

What ingredients and supplies you will need:

  • Oregano oil. You can purchase it at your local supermarket or on amazon.

  • Q-tip.

  • Bowl with water.

You can put a few drops of the oregano oil on the Q-tip and then rub it all around the tooth with the toothache. Massage it for up to one to two minutes. You can also mix some of the oregano oil with water and use it as a mouth rinse.

Make sure you tilt your head to the side of where the tooth pain is so that the mouthwash can pool around the tooth. This will make the mouth rinse more effective. Repeat this for up to three times a day or until the tooth stops bothering you.

Does oregano oil work for infections?

Oregano oil is extracted from the leaves of the same plant and has been used in holistic medicine for centuries to combat various illnesses. Even to this day, many people are still using it. It naturally has a bitter taste when taken alone.

Studies have shown that the oregano oil does have many beneficial properties.

  • Antibacterial. A very powerful bacterial growth inhibitor. It is also effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

  • Anti-inflammatory. Can inhibit inflammatory biomarkers on the skin.

  • Fights acne. Due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it may reduce the acne blisters.

So apparently this essential oil does work for infections. In fact, one of the studies show that it can be effective against strains of bacteria that are antibiotic resistant. In modern times, there are a lot of bacteria that are resistant towards antibiotics so it could be a problem.

We've established that the essential oil can work but we need to be clear about what type of tooth infection it can work on because the answer would be that it depends.

  • Gum infection. This should work very well on gum infections since it is easy for the oil to come into contact with your gums. Just follow the instructions above. In fact, we will recommend that you should rinse for at least 15 minutes to maximize its benefit similar to the coconut oil pulling technique.

  • Tooth nerve infection. Unfortunately it would not work if it is coming from an infected nerve. The reason being that the nerve is housed within the tooth so there is no way for the oil to come into contact with the nerve to calm it down or fight the infection.

  • Tooth abscess. For a tooth abscess it may help but it depends on the location of the abscess. Is the abscess completely in the bone or is it on the gums?

    • If the abscess is only within the bone, it would not work because the oregano oil cannot reach it. The oil cannot penetrate through the bone. Therefore, if the infection is in the bone, oregano oil won't work for a tooth abscess.

    • If the abscess is outside on the gums, it can at least come into contact with it and display its antibacterial properties. Oil of oregano will help with a gum infection but please be aware that it will not cure the infection completely because usually the source of the abscess is caused by an infected pulp. You would need to have the infected pulp of the tooth removed to cure it. This is because that is the source of the infection. Treatment would be a root canal.

  • Toothache. Oregano oil won't offer much pain relief for a toothache because it does not have any analgesic properties. It can kill bacteria but it does not numb the nerve to prevent you from having more pain.

Dangers of oregano oil

This essential oil has many wonderful benefits but you do have to be cautious using it. Oregano oil can be toxic to humans in very large quantities. Potentially lethal.

  • Can also cause skin irritation for certain people even though it may help with acne.

  • Pregnant women should be cautious of using it because it can lead to miscarriages.

  • Allergic to it.

  • Can interfere with medications such as diuretics so if you are using a blood pressure medication, please check with your physician before attempting to use this.

When to visit a dentist

You should actually visit a dentist as soon as you have a toothache but if you are unable to, then you can try this home remedy to alleviate some of the symptoms. If the oregano oil works then that is great but if the tooth pain is not going away or it gets worse, you should definitely schedule an appointment. If you have an abscess, you will need to have it addressed. The oil can only temporarily offer relief.

Final thoughts

This essential oil is a good home remedy and may be helpful when life prevents you from visiting the dentist due to its strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite how many benefits it may have, it still can't completely cure all toothaches so your dentist will still have a job! Thankfully our long island city dentists don't have to look for a new career!



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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