An effective home remedy for a toothache is putting a small amount of clove oil on a cotton ball and applying the cotton ball directly to the tooth. Using clove oil effectively treats a toothache because the oil contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic with antibacterial activity, notes Reader's Digest.
Purified eugenol continues to be used by dentists today as an antiseptic that kills germs, and clove oil is regularly used to numb nerves. The three forms of cloves used to numb toothaches are powdered, whole cloves and clove oil. A clove oil compress is often effective, especially if patients are too sore to put whole ones in their mouths, according to Reader's Digest.