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Will Using Gasoline Kill a Tooth Nerve?

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

It is unknown if gasoline can kill a tooth nerve but it can potentially kill you if you use it to alleviate a toothache. Due to hazardous safety concerns, we highly recommend against using this home remedy for tooth pain relief. (Yes, people in rural areas have attempted this before.)


BP gas station in long island city

There are safer pain relieving alternatives to try which don't come with the risk of imminent death. Not to be captain obvious but a safer and more effective way to get rid of tooth nerve pain is to see your dentist.


Without further ado, we will provide concrete proof for why using gasoline in your mouth is so dangerous. This home remedy along with other automotive fluids (brake fluids) should be placed in the useless discard pile so it never sees the light of day ever again.


Table of contents:


Gasoline is unsafe for oral use

Ignoring gasoline's efficacy on deadening a tooth nerve, you shouldn't use it because it is hazardous for oral use. In fact, it is outright dangerous to put it in your mouth and if you wanted a reason why, it's because the manufacturer stated so.


As an example, we can take a look at Mobil's gasoline safety data sheet to see what they say about oral use and its safety for it. The safety sheets for other brands of gasoline are similar.


mobil gasoline - hazard statement safety data sheet
Hazard statements for gasoline

Key points in safety data sheet:

  • Swallowing it can be fatal.

  • Seek medical attention immediately if exposed.

  • There is a lethal dose of 12oz for 70kg individual.


Side effects from swallowing it

The safety data sheet explicitly says that it is harmful if you swallow it. Below is a list of potential side effects from ingesting gasoline according to the CDC.


Adverse effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Irritation to gastrointestinal mucosa

  • Chemical pneumonitis

  • Drowsiness and confusion

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Vertigo

  • Convulsions

  • Hemorrhaging of the lungs and internal organs

  • Death due to circulatory failure


If you do happen to swallow it whether it be intentionally or accidentally, you should contact poison control or contact a doctor/physician immediately.


mobile gasoline - what to do for exposure
What to do if ingested

Lethal dosage

There are a lot of adverse effects from ingesting gasoline but the most dangerous one would be potential death.


  • 350g or 12oz can result in death for a 70kg individual.

  • 10-15g or less than half an oz can result in death of a child.


Exxonmobil does not have a specific lethal dose listed for humans but they have one based on experimental rat studies.


oral lethality for rats - exxonmobil

Putting the lethal dose into perspective

Gasoline having a lethal dose of approximately 12 oz is fairly potent. That quantity is about the same size as a can of soda which isn't all that much. Even if you ingest less than that, there can be very severe effects.


What we're trying to say is that rinsing with gasoline in order to kill your toothache may potentially kill you instead. Although we suppose, that would actually get rid of your tooth pain but with permanent consequences.


 

Gasoline is ineffective for pain relief

Putting aside the fact that ingesting this automotive fluid can kill you, it is still ineffective at killing your tooth nerve pain for two reasons.

  • It cannot penetrate through the tooth to reach the nerve and deaden it.

  • It is also not an analgesic


Cannot reach tooth nerve

Teeth have two outer layers which insulate the nerve and prevent it from being in contact with the oral environment, including gasoline. Before your home remedy can reach and affect it, it needs to make it past the enamel and dentin.


tooth anatomy diagram
Credit: Mouthhealthy - ADA

What we're trying to say is that since this home remedy has no way of coming into direct contact with your tooth's nerve, it will not be able to affect it.


Not an analgesic

Gasoline is NOT a painkiller because it is an automotive energy source. It is used as a fuel to power motorized vehicles when it gets combusted. It was never intended to be an anesthetic which can temporarily numb your bodily pain. This product is solely reserved for cars and other automobiles. Alleviating your toothache is not a part of its intended uses.


If it did have an analgesic effect, oil companies would've packaged it into pill form and sold it as a competitor to Tylenol and Advil! However that isn't the case because it doesn't work on numbing pain.


Safer alternatives

If you're experiencing an unbearable raging toothache, the best way to kill the nerve is by visiting your dentist. Since the pulp is insulated with layers of dentin and enamel, it prevents home remedies from affecting it.


However, your dentist is able to bypass these layers of protection by drilling through the enamel and dentin to create a direct pathway to the pulp. After that, they can physically remove the nerve via root canal treatment and kill it permanently. In other words, you'll get long lasting pain relief.


What if I am unable to make it to the dentist

We understand that not everyone will be able to get to the dentist immediately which is why there is a temporary method to lessen the tooth pain which is effective and not dangerous like gasoline.


In lieu of the home remedies which we described earlier, you should try taking a specific pain killer, Advil Dual Action. This product has ibuprofen mixed with acetaminophen all in one capsule which makes it the best pain reliever for tooth pain.


advil dual action

The combination of the two pain medications can alleviate your tooth pain more than when taking a similar dose of them individually. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label properly and take the prescribed amount. It also takes about 30-60 minutes for the analgesic effect to begin working so don't expect instant pain relief.


Takeaway

There has been no scientific studies done on whether or not gasoline can kill a tooth nerve and provide you with pain relief. Rather than get rid of your tooth pain, it may land you in the hospital and potentially put you on your death bed instead.


Although we suppose technically it does kill your tooth nerve if it kills you since the nerve will die in the process... Nonetheless, that is a risk that is not worth taking.


Due to its dangerous side effects and intended use solely for cars, we wholeheartedly recommend against using this home remedy. If you want some pain relief, simply taking some pain medication will be a lot more effective and safer. The best thing to do is still to see a dentist and our emergency dentists in Long Island City can take care of you.

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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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