The superpowers of clove for healthy teeth & gums

The clove is an aromatic dried flower bud from a tropical evergreen of the same name. Originating from Indonesia’s Spice Islands (aka, Maluku Islands), cloves have a long history as a highly-valued commodity, being worth their weight in gold in 17th – 18th century Europe.

Cloves first reached Europe during the 4th century BC, where they quickly became a top remedy for digestive problems, nausea, and vomiting. But it wasn’t until the Medieval Ages that the clove took on legendary medicinal powers. As the story goes, during the 15th-century bubonic plague, a group of spice merchants-turned-thieves preyed on victims but miraculously never got sick. When they were eventually caught, the judge offered clemency in return for information on how they resisted the illness. Their secret was a mix of protective herbs, with clove as the main ingredient. Today, “thieves oil”, a blend of protective essential oils, is an important natural immune-boosting remedy.

Way before this dark Western backstory unfolded, in 200 AD China, the emperor reportedly used clove as a “mouth perfume” to keep the breath of his courtiers smelling sweet. Conventional western medicine has since confirmed its effectiveness against halitosis (bad breath). In fact, clove is still used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for a range of healing powers that are being proven by modern science:

  • Promotes a balanced microbiome to support healthy and clear skin
  • Reduces potentially harmful free radicals due its extremely high ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) - the highest out of 72 essential oils
  • May help reduce inflammation and cellular oxidation, which contributes to aging
  • Relieves respiratory disorders by decongesting and clearing bronchial passages while fighting pathogens

Across cultures and history, clove has been especially prized for its multiple uses in oral healthcare.

According to The History of Dentistry by Walter Hoffmann-Axthelm, the first reference to cloves in dentistry was made by 10th-century Arabian dentist Al-Gazzar, where he mentions them for controlling mouth odors and pain. Nowadays we know that eugenol -- the main compound in clove -- is to thank for its powerful analgesic (reduces discomfort) and
germ-fighting properties.
 The Journal of Dentistry published a study in 2006 proving clove essential oil had the same numbing effect as the topical agent benzocaine, making it an alternative before needle insertion. Clove oil can also relieve pain caused by dry socket, a possible complication of tooth extraction. When diluted with coconut oil it even makes a treatment for teething infants.

Clove oil may reduce harmful bacteria and help create a balanced oral biome. Our mouths contain over 700 types of bacteria—some beneficial, others harmful. Rather than killing all the bacteria, which is what antibiotics and harsh mouthwashes do, bacteria should be "managed" to encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms. Good bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide that keeps harmful bacteria under control. Many strains of bad bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. But according to a report published in the journal Compendium, bad bacteria usually don’t develop resistance to clove oil.

Clove oil is effective against the bad bacteria that can move from your mouth into your arteries, causing health issues. A 2016 study found that a common bacteria associated with poor gum health, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis), invaded endothelial cells as well as atheromatous tissues, creating a pathogenetic link between unhealthy gums and poor heart health. Further studies have proven clove oil’s effectiveness against P. gingivalis.

Bottom line, if your oral care doesn't include clove oil, you're missing out on incredibly effective, natural protection against potentially harmful bacteria.

Clove truly delivers a mouthful of dental benefits– here are a few more impressive attributes:

  • Reduces gum swelling and irritation.

  • Stimulates circulation, due to its “hot” nature, enhancing gum tissue health.

  • Helps remineralize teeth due to the protective properties of eugenol against acids (that can erode dentin), according to a 2012 research study conducted by the Indian government.

Thanks to its essential role in oral health, you’ll find clove in several natural oral care products. 

Ready to try Clove Essential Oil in your Oral Care Routine? Here's how:

Make an essential oil "tooth and gum" serum:
 Grab a shot glass - mix 1 teaspoon of organic vegetable oil from your pantry (like olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil) with 1 drop of Clove bud essential oil (therapeutic grade). Make a larger quantity (using this proportion) for use in your oral care routine and put this in a glass dropper bottle (you can buy this on Amazon or a natural grocery store). Try adding other bad bacteria fighters like Cinnamon essential oil. Caution: Clove essential oil is very strong and should always be diluted (do not use straight). Not into DIY? Try our Akamai Oil Pulling Mouthwash with clove oil.

> Use it with your dental floss: apply this to your dental floss (you can use your fingertips or put the floss directly into a shot glass). Floss, as usual, paying close attention to the gumline (be gentle). Not into DIY? Buy Akamai Infused Black Floss which features Clove essential oil, Cinnamon essential oil and Tea tree essential oil to fight bad bacteria in the gum line while adding plant-based trace minerals (fulvic acid) to improve the health of the gum tissue.

>Add it to your toothpaste:  Apply your toothpaste or powder to your toothbrush, add a few drops of your serum. Not into DIY?  Buy Akamai Mineral Toothpaste Powder which contains essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon, Tea Tree, Peppermint and Anise along with clays to naturally fight bad bacteria.

> Have a toothache? Apply the mixture directly to the tooth and surrounding gum with your finger or a cotton swab. 

Experience all of the superpowers of clove for healthy teeth and gums with these Akamai natural oral care products. Use discount code CLOVE15 for 15% off of your first order.

Read more about our natural Oral Care Routines and How to Optimize your Oral Health.


  1. In Vitro and In Vivo Effects of Clove on Pro-inflammatory Cytokines Production by Macrophages
  2. History of Dentistry (Quintessence Books)
  3. The Journal of Dentistry
  4. In Vitro Inhibitory Effect of Clove Essential Oil and Its Two Active Principles on Tooth Decalcification by Apple Juice
  5. Oral Health and Heart Health
  6. Activity of Cinnamon and Clove on Oral Biofilm.

DISCLAIMER: *These statements have not been verified by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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