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Ouch! Dental Pain Remedies for Pets and People

By Dr. Andrew Jones


A cheery Hello to you and your family of pets and people!

I just returned from a great camping trip with my family, along with my 2 brothers and their families.

The weather was pretty cooperative, the water was warm, the kids happy, and except for the border collie running after the deer in the park incident, it all went well 🙂

That EXCEPT for a sore tooth ( of my own…) A few different ‘remedies’ were tried, although it ‘cured’ itself with a whole lot of jostling being dragged behind a boat a high speed, spun in circles by a 14 year old son intent on having his father ‘bite the dust’…

Here is some of what you can use for your own pets:

dog teeth

Tooth pain

Similar to us, our dogs and cats also experience tooth pain, the primary difference being that they really don’t get cavities as we do.

In our pets it is more common to have gingivitis, gum recession, and too abscesses.

But regardless of the cause, it is uncomfortable.

You may see your dog or cat not acting themselves, they may have difficulty chewing, or you may even see a swollen, red area around the tooth.

This is painful, and will require care.

There are some things that you can do at home.

1. Cloves

This is the preferred home remedy for people, and can also help your dog or cats. Cloves have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anesthetic properties.

You can purchase clove oil, or grind 1-2 cloves and mix with olive oil
Dab a cotton ball in clove oil and rub it directly on the sore tooth.

2. Garlic

Garlic has been used by many people for tooth pain. Garlic is antibacterial, and will also help with gum infections.
Crush a garlic clove, mix in olive oil, wait 15 minutes, then apply this to the affected area with a Q tip.

3. HERBAL TINCTURE. A tincture of OREGON GRAPE, GOLDENSEAL, and MYRRH can be liberally applied to your pet’s gums with a cotton swab.

4. HEALING LOTION. Calendula lotion can be used to heal ulcers in the mouth and promote healing of damaged tissue.

5. CHAMOMILLA. This is used to decrease puppy and kitten chewing, alleviating some of the signs of teething pain.

6. MYRRH. This can be mixed with water and applied topically to the inflamed gum tissue to decrease gum inflammation.

For acute pain/injuries to the mouth or teeth. I have used it myself for a tooth root abscess. Dose: 30C four times daily.

Best Wishes,

Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. My new book, Veterinary Secrets, has extensive information on HOW to prevent and treat dental disease Naturally.

A great reference at 467 pages.

You can grab a copy, along with 3 additional bonuses here:



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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Ouch! Dental Pain Remedies for Pets and People”

  1. Avatar Donna Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    DO NOT GIVE GARLIC TO CATS AS IT IS TOXIC!!!!! Really, Andrew, this is common knowledge. Please retract your advice about giving garlic for tooth pain.

  2. Avatar Frances Says:
    August 28th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Happy Birthday my dear man. Sorry you had such pain on this important day but you still have much to be thankful for so enjoy the sensation of being grateful along with me please. You have gifted much to so many of us who are grateful to you for your wisdom and kindness. Thank you mil gracias.

    My birthday was the27th and this year it was shared with a friend of 87 years, visiting from another country, whose birth date is the 7th of Sept. What a lovely celebration we shared with friends….and a first for me. I wish you the same fun and shared experience….and continued love among family and fans.

  3. Avatar Rick Says:
    March 30th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Calendula is pretty good for sore’s and infections, it can cures pink-eye when used with Eyebright as an eye wash, but when using it orally it can cause gastric upset.

    For years Vet’s have warned about Garlic, saying it’s harmful. Back in the 80’s I had a dog with a bleeding uterus infection, the Vet said the dog had about 5% chance and to take home and let it pass. I used Garlic for the infection and Cayenne to stop the bleeding. The dog lived! Without the Vet’s help

    I like Lavender EO for tooth pain, use very little on a Q-tip, it can be applied on the outside of the mouth over the area that hurts or inside the mouth, however it will cause you to salivate! Not for pets!

  4. Dr. Andrew Jones Dr. Andrew Jones Says:
    November 2nd, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Hello Donna,

    A garlic tincture of olive oil will not cause toxicity, hence that is why I suggested it as a remedy.

    Onions are quite toxic, as can garlic be if enough is consumed.

    Here is a section from vetlearn.com

    Hidden Dangers in the Kitchen: Common Foods Toxic to Dogs and Cats
    by Kim Gugler, DVM, Christopher M. Piscitelli, MS, DVM, DACVECC, Jeffery Dennis, DVM, DACVIM

    Garlic and Onions

    Onions and garlic are members of the genus Allium, which also includes leeks, chives, and shallots. The toxicity of onions in dogs was first recognized in 1930, when dogs fed onions developed anemia during a research study.1 It has since been determined that onion juice, as well as dehydrated, powdered, and cooked onions, can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs and cats.2 Most cases of toxicosis are attributed to a single episode of accidental ingestion of raw onion or feeding of foods containing onions or garlic. The toxic dose has been found to be as low as 5 g/kg in cats and 15 g/kg in dogs.2 A medium-sized onion (2 to 3¼” in diameter) is approximately 150 g, and the average weight of a garlic clove is 6 g. A 10-lb dog would ingest a potentially toxic dose by eating only half of an onion. Crushing or chewing Allium spp releases allicin, which quickly breaks down into the toxic component n-propyl disulfide. N-propyl disulfide causes oxidative damage to hemoglobin and erythrocyte membranes, resulting in the formation of methemoglobin, Heinz bodies, and eccentrocytes, which then lead to intravascular hemolysis and anemia.3,4 Cats may be more sensitive to the toxic effects of onions because of differences in feline hemoglobin that result in an increased sensitivity to oxidative damage.

    Dr Andrew

  5. Avatar Jenny Says:
    November 25th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi thanks for your post.
    My cat is in dire need of pain relief for tooth pain.
    I am thinking of using Clove oil. Knowing from personal use it does burn when used straight. Now do you have any suggestions if its safe to apply straight on a cats gums and tooth or should I dilute it with olive oil?
    Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated. Eg how many applications per day, how to get her be still.
    Thank you.

  6. Avatar Miranda Swenson Says:
    March 8th, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Okay so I just did the garlic and oil mix on my dog for her teeth and then saw that it said may be toxic. She is fine and actually appears to be feeling MUCH better.

  7. Avatar Bridget Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    My cats’ gums are red and swallen around certain teeth, yet her teeth are nice and white? She has started to rub her face on hard surfaces and has lost weight.
    I do not want her to take antibiotics or be anesthetized.
    What treatment can I apply to her gums?

  8. Avatar Elsie Bredenkamp Says:
    April 3rd, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Can I use onion topically on the skin for a sore on my doggy’s back?


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM