If you have an achy tooth and your dentist's first opening is in a week or two, a dab of clove oil can offer some temporary relief while you're waiting to get it looked at by a professional. Just a dab on a cotton swab on the tooth or area that hurts and after a few minutes, it will be good and numb.
Picture: Sea Wave/Shutterstock
Clove oil isn't for everyone though, as The New York Times' Well blog notes. It has an extremely strong smell and taste, and while it's been used as a topical analgesic for generations (you have have heard this tip from your grandmother), it can have unpleasant side effects in large quantities. That's why most people who suggest it note that you should only use a dab, and you should avoid using it for prolonged periods -- in other words, it's no substitute for seeing a dentist.
Hit the article below for more detail on why this works, and to read about a 2006 study published in The Journal of Dentistry where researchers conducted a blind study with a clove gel, topical benzocaine and a placebo. Long story short, the researchers found participants who got the clove gel fared just as well as those who used benzocaine.
If you're curious, clove oil is easily available at most health food stores. You can also try using it elsewhere around the house.
Remedies: Clove Oil for Tooth Pain [The New York Times]