Natural remedies for common oral ailments

June 30, 2015

Home remedies for minor ills are good to have around, if you know the right ones. Here are some natural oral health remedies.

Natural remedies for common oral ailments

Homemade breath freshener

The makings for a super-duper, anti-bad–breath mouthwash is living right there in your spice rack. Cardamom is jam-packed with antiseptic qualities that kill the bacteria responsible for bad breath. Cloves, which have a long history as a breath freshener, are also antibacterial.

To make a mouthwash:

  1. Pour 500 millilitres (two cups) of water into a saucepan and add 15 grams (one tablespoon) of cardamom seeds and 15 grams (one tablespoon) of  whole cloves. If you like, add a few mint leaves and a little sugar to improve the taste (mint is a proven halitosis fighter).
  2. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for three to four hours.
  3. Strain the solution into a bottle and gargle as needed.

Brown stains on teeth

If your teeth advertise your fondness for coffee, tea or cigarettes, supplement your whitening toothpaste with a folk treatment: Add a dash of baking soda to your favourite whitening toothpaste and brush away.

Saltwater rinse for toothaches

Swishing warm salt water in the mouth can relieve toothache pain for the short term. Salt draws out some of the fluids from swollen gums as it soothes. How strong a solution to use? Five to 10 grams (two to three teaspoons) of salt in 225 millilitres (eight ounces) of warm water.

Chapped lips

Can't find that tube of lip balm you just bought? Try a benign oil of any sort instead. Soothe cracked, dry lips with a drop of olive, corn, safflower or canola oil. Vegetable shortening and the trusty multitasker known as petroleum jelly also work well.

Clove oil for pain

You can ease toothache pain temporarily with oil of clove, which you can either purchase or make at home.

To make:

Pour 225 millilitres (one cup) of vegetable oil over 50 grams (0.25 cup) of whole cloves and let sit overnight.

To use:

  1. Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball, place the ball on your sore tooth, and bite down.
  2. Keep your jaw shut tight for three to four minutes as the oil numbs the pain and kills bacteria.
  3. Remove the cotton ball and make a mouthwash from 175 millilitres (six ounces) of water, one gram (0.25 teaspoon) of salt and six to eight drops clove oil.
  4. Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds to kill more bacteria, then rinse.


  • Undiluted clove oil inside the mouth can cause burning, tissue or nerve damage and pain.
  • In large doses, clove oil taken orally can cause vomiting, sore throat, seizure, difficulty breathing, kidney failure or liver damage.
  • Clove oil shouldn't be applied to broken skin.
  • Children, pregnant or nursing women and people with diabetes, kidney, or liver disease or bleeding disorders should avoid taking clove oil.

Before running to the drug store, try these soothing home remedies for common mouth ailments. You just may be surprised at how well they work!

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