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Why Do Dentists’ Offices Smell Like That?

Dental
David McNew, Getty Images

For me, there is a smell that goes along with a visit to the dentist. It makes my hair stand on end and my heart pound. I break into a cold, clammy sweat and wonder “what is that smell?”.

Now I can share with you that the smell wafting from your dentist’s office is probably Eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil. Clove oil has been used since midieval times as a numbing agent for dental pain. Eugenol is used in most over the counter dental remedies and when mixed with zinc oxide, it becomes the common base for dental fillings.

There you are! One less thing to wonder about. Do you have a dental horror story that you would like to share?

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