Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth

Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth?

Have you ever been caught off guard by a sudden toothache and wondered whether a common household product could offer swift relief? This brings us to the inquiry: Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth?

Vicks is a renowned brand primarily used to alleviate symptoms associated with the common cold. However, its composition also raises questions about its potential impact on oral health.

This article delves into the realities surrounding Vicks, its potential application to teeth, and optimal practices for toothache alleviation and whitening. Does it alleviate tooth-related issues, or is it merely a myth?

Understanding Vicks

Vicks is a ubiquitous brand found in nearly every household, esteemed for its over-the-counter remedies for common cold symptoms.

The brand is owned by the American multinational company Procter & Gamble. Its flagship product, Vicks VapoRub, was initially crafted in the late 19th century by pharmacist Lunsford Richardson in North Carolina to combat his son’s croup.

Over time, Vicks has gained prominence as a trusted solution for coughs, colds, and congestion. It boasts a distinctive, soothing aroma cherished by many.

Its formulation incorporates vital ingredients such as camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, which deliver a cooling sensation and act as cough suppressants owing to their potent aroma upon inhalation.

Vicks Ingredients and uses

Apart from camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, Vicks VapoRub contains additional ingredients that contribute to its efficacy, including cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, and turpentine oil.

Each ingredient serves a specific purpose in enhancing Vicks’ therapeutic properties:

Cedar leaf oil

Possessing antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory attributes, cedar leaf oil is commonly utilized to soothe irritations and reduce congestion.

Nutmeg oil

With its warm and spicy fragrance, nutmeg oil finds application in aromatherapy due to its comforting effects.


Also known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is a base in various ointments owing to its moisturizing and protective qualities.


Thymol, derived from thyme oil, exhibits robust antiseptic properties and is commonly used in dental care products for gum disease prevention and oral health promotion.

Turpentine oil

Turpentine oil is renowned for its analgesic and antiseptic properties and alleviates joint pain and muscle soreness.

These ingredients formulate a product that assuages symptoms like cough, congestion, and minor aches and pains. It’s imperative to note that despite its beneficial attributes, Vicks VapoRub is designed exclusively for external applications and should never be ingested.

Side Effects of Vicks

While generally considered safe for use, Vicks VapoRub may induce potential side effects in specific individuals, including:

Skin Irritation

Excessive or prolonged application of Vicks may lead to skin irritation, manifesting as redness and a burning sensation.

Eye Irritation

Accidental contact with the eyes can result in severe discomfort and irritation. It’s crucial to wash hands thoroughly after applying Vicks and avoid touching the eyes.

Respiratory Difficulties

Although rare, excessive inhalation of Vicks vapors may precipitate respiratory issues, particularly in children or individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions.

Ingestion Risks

Ingesting Vicks can provoke nausea, vomiting, and more severe health complications, necessitating avoidance of ingestion at all costs.

Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Vicks’ ingredients, with symptoms encompassing rashes, itching, swelling, dizziness, or respiratory distress. In such instances, discontinuing use is advised, followed by prompt medical attention.

Can you put Vicks on your tooth?

In short no, applying Vicks to your tooth is not recommended. Despite its soothing and analgesic properties, Vicks VapoRub isn’t intended for oral cavity use.

The ingestion of Vicks can engender significant health risks due to ingredients like camphor and petrolatum, deemed unsafe for internal consumption.

Explicitly labeled for external application, employing Vicks for toothache relief is discouraged under any circumstances. Consultation with a dental professional is always recommended for suitable and safe oral health treatments.

Can you put Vicks on your gums?

As with tooth application, applying Vicks VapoRub to your gums is ill-advised. Its intended use is solely external, and it is suitable for application on the skin but not within the oral cavity or mucous membranes encompassing the gums.

Though the primary ingredients of Vicks, such as camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, may offer relief from congestion and cough when used appropriately, they can prove harmful if ingested or applied to sensitive areas like the gums.

Camphor, approved by the FDA for pain relief and skin numbing, shouldn’t be used in camphor-containing ointments within the mouth, as ingestion can precipitate burning or irritation of the mouth and throat, alongside symptoms like nausea and vomiting within 5-15 minutes.

Moreover, ingestion of Vicks’ constituents may result in gastrointestinal distress, comprising nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Severe cases could culminate in poisoning, characterized by seizures, confusion, or coma.

Can you put Vicks Vaporub on your teeth for whitening?

The notion of utilizing Vicks VapoRub for teeth whitening is a fallacy. Scientific evidence negates any teeth-whitening properties attributed to Vicks.

Vicks’s ingredients, such as camphor, eucalyptus oil, and thymol, aren’t renowned for their teeth-whitening abilities.

On the contrary, employing Vicks may induce teeth and gum discoloration, alongside potential health hazards if ingested, including nausea, vomiting, and digestive issues.

Hence, it’s strongly advised to resort to approved dental products and seek guidance from a dental professional for effective and safe teeth-whitening methods.

Risks of using Vicks on your teeth:

Employing Vicks VapoRub on your teeth entails several risks.

Primarily, as earlier emphasized, Vicks VapoRub is designated for external application exclusively and should never be orally consumed. The presence of camphor renders ingestion hazardous, potentially leading to camphor poisoning.

Secondly, the petrolatum in Vicks may evoke a laxative effect upon ingestion, culminating in diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disturbances. Additionally, when applied to the mouth and gums, ingredients like eucalyptus oil, thymol, and turpentine oil may elicit irritation or allergic reactions.

Continual usage of Vicks on teeth may prompt discoloration, while its potent fragrance could interfere with one’s sense of taste. In severe scenarios, utilizing Vicks within the mouth might precipitate respiratory issues due to its strong, minty aroma. Accidental inhalation could induce breathing difficulties, particularly in children.

Best alternatives for toothache and whitening:

To relieve toothaches and whiten teeth, it is recommended that dental products endorsed by professionals and regulatory bodies be utilized. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide temporary relief from toothaches.

Topical oral anesthetics such as Orajel Dental Gel, available in gel form, ointment, or tablet, can also numb the affected area and alleviate pain.

Various practical and safe options exist for teeth whitening. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes aids in eliminating surface stains, enhancing the whiteness of teeth.

One may consider utilizing at-home whitening kits containing peroxide-based gels or strips for more pronounced results. Alternatively, professional teeth whitening services administered by a dentist are available.

It is important to note that while home remedies and over-the-counter products can offer immediate relief, they do not substitute professional dental care. Persistent toothache or the desire for teeth whitening warrants consultation with a dental professional to explore optimal options.


Vicks VapoRub is an efficient remedy for coughs, colds, and minor aches and pains. However, its application for addressing oral health issues like toothaches or teeth whitening is not recommended. When ingested or applied to the oral cavity, the ingredients contained within may pose health risks. Thus, it is advisable to opt for dental products approved by professionals and regulatory bodies for toothache relief and teeth whitening.


How to Use Vicks for Toothache?

In cases of toothache, applying Vicks to the outer area of the cheek near the affected tooth may offer temporary relief due to its cooling sensation. Nonetheless, consulting with a dentist for proper treatment is advisable.

Can You Put Vicks on Your Gums?

Direct application of Vicks to the gums is not recommended. Its constituents can prove harmful if ingested and may cause irritation or a burning sensation in the gums. Consulting with a dentist is the best course of action for gum pain or discomfort.

Can Vicks VapoRub cause harm if swallowed accidentally?

Yes, accidental ingestion of Vicks VapoRub can lead to harm owing to the presence of ingredients like camphor and petrolatum, which are unsuitable for ingestion. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Immediate medical assistance should be sought in cases of accidental ingestion.

Can Vicks VapoRub be used on a tooth abscess?

No, Vicks VapoRub should not be utilized to treat a tooth abscess. While its analgesic properties may offer temporary relief, they do not address the underlying issue. Tooth abscesses necessitate professional dental treatment to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.

Can you use Vicks Vaporub to recede gums?

No, Vicks VapoRub’s application for receding gums has not been advised. Its constituents, when applied orally, may cause irritation and potential harm. Receding gums require attention from a dental professional who can offer suitable treatment and care.

Also Read: Side Effects of Applying Vicks on Eyebrows

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