Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth? Facts of Vicks

Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth

Have you ever experienced an unexpected toothache and wondered if a common household item could provide quick relief? This brings us to the question at hand: Can you put Vicks on your tooth?

Vicks is a well-known brand that is mainly used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. It may also affect oral health due to its harbors ingredients.

In this article, we explore the facts surrounding Vicks, the potential for its use on teeth, and the best practices for toothache relief and whitening. And most importantly, does it really work on your teeth or is it just a myth?

Vicks is a popular brand that’s almost found in every home. It is recognized for providing over-the-counter relief for common cold symptoms.

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

Over the years, Vicks has been used as a trusted remedy for coughs, colds, and congestion. The product is prevalent around the globe and has a unique, calming scent that everyone loves.

It’s formulated using key ingredients like camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. These ingredients offer a cooling sensation and work as a suppressant for coughs due to their strong aroma when inhaled.

Vicks Ingredients and uses

Vicks VapoRub has provided several other ingredients in addition to camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. These include cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, and turpentine oil. Each ingredient has a specific purpose in making Vicks effective for therapy.

  • Cedarleaf oil: This essential oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are commonly used to soothe irritations and reduce congestion.
  • Nutmeg oil: Nutmeg oil has a warm and spicy fragrance and is often used in aromatherapy for its comforting and soothing effects.
  • Petrolatum: Commonly known as petroleum jelly. It is used as a base in many ointments due to its moisturizing and protective qualities.
  • Thymol: Derived from thyme oil, thymol has strong antiseptic properties. It’s commonly used in dental care products to prevent gum disease and promote oral health.
  • Turpentine oil: Used in the treatment of joint pain and muscle soreness, turpentine oil is a powerful analgesic and antiseptic.

Together, these ingredients create a product that soothes and relieves symptoms like cough, congestion, and minor aches and pains.

Note that despite these beneficial properties, Vicks VapoRub is intended for external use only and should not be ingested.

Side effects of Vicks

Vicks VapoRub is generally safe for use but some people experience potential side effects after using it which include:

  • Skin Irritation: Overuse or prolonged use of Vicks can cause skin irritation, redness, and burning sensation.
  • Eye Irritation: Accidental contact with the eyes can cause severe discomfort and irritation. Always wash your hands after applying Vicks and avoid touching your eyes.
  • Respiratory Difficulties: Though it’s rare, inhaling too much of the product’s vapors can lead to respiratory issues, especially in children or those with existing respiratory conditions.
  • Ingestion Risks: Ingesting Vicks can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even more serious health complications. It should never be swallowed.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the ingredients in Vicks. Symptoms can include rashes, itching, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing. If these occur, discontinue use and seek medical attention.

Can you put Vicks on your tooth?

The short answer is no, it is not advisable to put Vicks on your tooth. Despite its soothing and pain-relieving properties, Vicks VapoRub is not intended to be used in the oral cavity.

Ingesting Vicks can cause some serious health problems as it contains ingredients like camphor and petrolatum, which are not safe for internal use.

The product is specifically labeled for external use only. Therefore, using it on a toothache is not recommended under any circumstances. We always suggest consulting with a dental professional for appropriate and safe treatments for oral health concerns.

Also Read: Side effects Of Applying Vicks on Eyebrows and Hair

Can you put Vicks on your gums?

Just as with applying Vicks to teeth, it is not advisable to apply Vicks VapoRub to your gums. You can only use this for external use on the skin, not for use in the mouth or on the mucus membranes, which includes the gums.

The primary ingredients of Vicks, like camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, while beneficial for relieving symptoms like congestion and cough when used properly, can be harmful if ingested or applied to sensitive areas like the gums.

Camphor is approved by the FDA for pain relief and numbing the skin. However, it is not recommended to use camphor-containing ointments inside the mouth. Ingesting camphor can cause burning or irritation of the mouth and throat, as well as nausea and vomiting within 5-15 minutes.

Moreover, ingestion of its ingredients can cause gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even result in poisoning, characterized by symptoms like seizures, confusion, or coma.

Can you put Vicks Vaporub on your teeth for whitening?

Can You Put Vicks On Your Tooth

The idea of using Vicks VapoRub for teeth whitening is also a misconception. There’s no scientific evidence that Vicks can whiten teeth.

The ingredients found in Vicks, like camphor, eucalyptus oil, and thymol, are not known to have any teeth-whitening properties.

On the contrary, the use of Vicks can also cause discoloration and damage to your teeth and gums. It may to serious health problems if ingested, including nausea, vomiting, and other digestive issues.

Therefore, we highly recommend using approved dental products and consulting with a dental professional for effective and safe teeth whitening methods.

Risks of using Vicks on your teeth

Using Vicks VapoRub on your teeth may pose several risks.

Firstly,  as we mentioned earlier, Vicks VapoRub is intended for external use only and is not meant to be taken orally. The product contains camphor, which can be harmful if swallowed and can lead to camphor poisoning.

Second, the petrolatum in Vicks can cause a laxative effect if ingested. Which may lead to diarrhea and other digestive issues. Other ingredients like eucalyptus oil, thymol, and turpentine oil may cause irritation or allergic reactions when applied to the mouth and gums.

Lastly, continuous use of Vicks on teeth can lead to discoloration, while its strong scent might disrupt your sense of taste. In worst-case scenarios, the use of Vicks inside the mouth could potentially lead to respiratory problems due to its strong and minty aroma. If you unintentionally inhale it could cause difficulty breathing, especially in children.

Note Don’t use Vicks VapoRub on babies or or kids below the age of two.

Best alternatives for toothache and whitening

For toothache relief and teeth whitening, it’s best to use dental products approved by professionals and regulatory bodies. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can temporarily relieve toothaches.

You can also use topical oral anesthetics like the gel-like Orajel Dental Gel, ointment, or lozenge to numb the affected area and relieve pain.

For teeth whitening, several effective and safe options are available. Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes can help remove surface stains and make your teeth appear whiter.

For more noticeable results, consider at-home whitening kits that use peroxide-based gels or strips, or professional teeth whitening services offered by a dentist.

Remember, home remedies and over-the-counter products can offer short-term relief, but they’re no substitute for professional dental care. For persistent toothache or teeth whitening, it’s best to talk with a dental professional for the best options.


Vicks VapoRub is an effective remedy for coughs, colds, and minor aches and pains, but its use for oral health concerns like toothaches or teeth whitening is not advisable. The product contains ingredients that may pose health risks when ingested or applied to the oral cavity. Instead, choose dental products that are approved by professionals and regulatory bodies for toothache relief and teeth whitening.


How to Use Vicks for Toothache?

If you are experiencing toothache, it’s best to apply Vicks on the outer area of your cheek near the affected tooth. Its cooling sensation may provide temporary relief, but it’s best to consult with a dentist for proper treatment.

Can You Put Vicks on Your Gums?

No, you should not put Vicks directly on your gums. Its ingredients can be harmful if ingested and can also cause irritation or a burning sensation in your gums. If you are experiencing gum pain or discomfort, it’s best to consult with a dentist for proper treatment.

Can Vicks VapoRub cause harm if swallowed accidentally?

Yes, if swallowed, Vicks VapoRub can cause harm due to the presence of ingredients like camphor and petrolatum, which are not safe for ingestion. Symptoms of ingestion can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In case of accidental ingestion, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Can Vicks VapoRub be used on a tooth abscess?

No, Vicks VapoRub should not be used on a tooth abscess. While it may provide temporary relief due to its analgesic properties, it is not a solution for an abscess. Tooth abscesses are severe dental conditions that need professional treatment. If not treated, they can cause life-threatening complications.

Can you use Vicks Vaporub for receding gums?

No, using Vicks VapoRub for receding gums is not advised. Its ingredients, when applied to the oral cavity, can cause irritation and potential harm. Receding gums are a significant dental condition that should be addressed by a dental professional, who can provide appropriate treatment and care.


The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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