Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening: Facts and Fictions


In the recent past, people have become much more active and enthusiastic in trying different things. In this blog, we will address one such unconventional method, which is the use of Vicks Vaporub on teeth for whitening. We feel obliged to clear the misconception of the use of Vicks Vaporub, as this household remedy was never intended to address issues that can be associated with teeth. To give you a heads up, it will make you clear about the use of Vicks Vaporub, which provides relief in congestion and soothes minor ailments only.

Can it be Dangerous?

Yes, it can be dangerous as we can witness multiple side effects after ingestion of Vicks Vaporup. Though we will be discussing it lately, to brief you, it has active ingredients like camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, which can have life-threatening problems if ingested. Secondly, this kind of statement is usually never backed by any scientific proof. We need to be extra cautious as it can be very influential, which makes us try Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening.

This study will delve into some popular yet unverified trend that intends to clear the facts from fiction. By the end of this blog, you will be well informed to judge the importance of evidence-based dental practice better to maintain oral hygiene.

What is Vicks Vaporup and its Use

What is Vicks Vaporup and its Use
What is Vicks Vaporup and its Use

Vicks Vaporub comes in the familiar jar which can be found easily in medicine cabinets as it is an over-the-counter medicine. It is a topical ointment that is designed to provide relief with mild respiratory issues which can involve chest congestion and cough.

Brand and Availability

It is a famous product which is being manufactured by Procter and Gamble and has been a staple in many households for over a decade. The chief ingredients are camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. Together, they can produce a soothing effect, but they have to be taken in a specific amount.

Typical Use

As stated earlier, it should only be used in case of mild respiratory issues that can involve cough and congestion. The use of Vicks Vaporub is elaborated below:

1. Congestion Relief

  • It is typically in the form of a gel-like ointment that can be rubbed on the chest and throat area.
  • After applying, the immediate action could be to provide relief from symptoms of cold and flu.

2. Cough Suppression 

  • It can also provide aid in the throat and bronchial irritation, only temporarily, by rubbing it on the chest and throat.
  • In case of severe congestion or any respiratory disorder, please consult a healthcare expert.

3. Nasal Decongestion

  • Some people also inhale vapors of Vicks to help clear nasal passage, which will ease breathing.
  • This action be an excellent choice In case of a blocked nose. One who has less sensitivity in the lungs can take vapors as recommended.

Also Read: Paya Soup Benefits, Recipe and Side-Effects

Main Components of Vicks Vaporub

Main Components of Vicks Vaporub
Main Components of Vicks Vaporub

Vicks Vaporub is a product that many people have used to treat minor cold and flu problems. We have divided it into active ingredients and inactive ingredients, with the main aim being to provide relief from respiratory discomfort.

A. Active Ingredients

It has four active ingredients, which are taken together in certain percentages so that the end product can solve the motive, which is to provide aid in colds and flu.

1. L-Menthol

  • It contains 3.125 % L-menthol, which is an active ingredient in Vicks Vporub.
  • The main use is to provide a cooling sensation and may stimulate certain receptors in the skin and upper respiratory tract, which will suppress the cough reflex.
  • It also helps to open up the nasal passage to ensure problem-free breathing.
  • L-menthol is the main contributor, along with camphor.

2. Camphor

  • It contains 5.25 % camphor as an active ingredient in Vicks Vporub. Together with menthol, it acts as the main contributor of the topical ointment.
  • Promoting warmth contributes to cough suppression.
  • It also helps provide relief from muscle aches related to colds and flu.

3. Eucalyptus Oil

  • It contains 1.25 % eucalyptus oil as an active ingredient in Vicks Vporub.
  • It is known for its pleasant scent and has some decongestant properties.
  • The oil’s vapors can provide a smooth passage for air in case of a blocked nose. This action will provide relief from the difficulties that are associated with congestion.

4. Turpentine Oil

  • It contains 0.5 % turpentine oil as an active ingredient in Vicks Vporub.
  • According to some studies, it is used for its antiseptic properties.
  • Traditionally, it has been effective in coughing and muscle aches.

B. Inactive Ingredients

These are the ingredients that will contribute to texture and overall scent. They act as inactive ingredients because they don’t play a major role in the performance of the product and act as a sidekick.

Cedarleaf oilThis contributes to the scent of Vicks Vaporub
Nutmeg oilIt is known to have some analgesic properties and also contributes to the overall scent.
PetrolatumAdded to give smooth jelly texture
ThymolThis acts as an antiseptic and also helps to increase the shelf life of the product
Inactive Ingredients in Vicks Vaporub

Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening

Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening
Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening

The main question here is: “Is the whitening of teeth through this method sustained with time? The answer to this is NO. The perceived whitening of teeth through this method is temporary, and it does not address the underlying issue. A dentist perhaps had a better view and can guide us in the process of whitening the teeth.

1. Not Intended for Ingestion

  • Vicks Vaporub is a gel-based ointment that comes in a famous blue bottle under the brand name P&G. It has shown effectiveness in treating mild respiratory problems that can arise due to colds and flu.
  • It has camphor and menthol as key ingredients. Ingestion of Vicks Vaporub is toxic and can cause serious side effects.

Note: Consider it a warning. We should use it topically only. This mainly provides aid in the symptoms that are related to cold and flu, like congestion, stuffed nose, and pain in the body.

2. It is Abrasive

  • This is another cause why it should not be used for teeth whitening purposes. The inactive ingredients used in preparation, like petrolatum (the base) and cedar leaf oil, act as abrasives when applied to teeth.
  • These ingredients can scratch and erode enamel, which will make your teeth susceptible to staining and sensitivity.
  • Enamel is a hard, protective outer layer of the teeth. When it gets eroded, it cannot safeguard the inner layer of teeth. It makes them susceptible to cavities and pain.

3. No Scientific Evidence

  • No scientific proof is available on the use of Vicks Vaporub on teeth for whitening.
  • We may come across a report claiming its effectiveness in teeth whitening, but this can be due to temporary dehydration of teeth.

Threats of Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening

Threats of Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening
Threats of Vicks Vaporub on Teeth for Whitening

Consider this as a suggestion, but avoid getting caught away by the vibe that Vicks Vaporub can whiten the teeth. Keep it simple: it is a recipe for inviting troubles, not a trip to achieve a sparkling smile.

1. Side Effects of Ingesting Menthol

Toxic Alert!

Yes, ingesting menthol, even in a small amount, can lead to some life-threatening problems. We must understand such situations and, as per the symptoms, immediately seek medical help.

Mild Symptoms

  • One of the most common effects that can be experienced if someone has ingested menthol is a burning sensation in the mouth and throat.
  • If you are experiencing nausea and persistent vomiting, immediately seek help.
  • Some of the mild symptoms are abdominal pain and cramping, which can be accompanied by diarrhea.

Severe Symptoms

  • Yes, ingestion of Vicks Vaporub can be life-threatening. It can come with symptoms like respiratory failure and coma.
  • Menthol can damage the functioning of the liver and kidneys.
  • Menthol can trigger epileptic activity. It can cause seizures in those who have no previous records.

2. Side Effects of Ingesting Camphor

The same goes for camphor ingestion, which is a key ingredient in Vicks Vaporub. We have classified the symptoms into two different categories. Let us see.

Mild Symptoms

  • Burning sensation in mouth and throat immediately after ingesting Vicks Vaporub, which has Camphor as the main ingredient.
  • Weakness and Fatigue.
  • Headaches, dizziness, and a state of confusion.

Severe Symptoms

  • Cardiac complications can involve irregular heartbeat and even heart attack in severe cases.
  • Respiratory problems and coma.
  • Liver and kidney damage.

3. Side Effects of Ingesting Eucalyptus Oil

Ingesting Eucalyptus Oil, even in a small amount, can be life-threatening. We have segregated the symptoms into two categories.

Mild Symptoms

  • Burning sensations in mouth and throat.
  • Headaches, dizziness, and confusion.

Severe Symptoms

  • Kidney and liver failure.
  • Seizures.


We learned a lot about the correct use, limitations, and potential side effects that can be experienced by ingesting Vicks Vaporub. Going through everything, the use of Vicks Vaporub on teeth for whitening remains an unverified and potentially risky space. While it is a remedy to cure minor symptoms that are associated with cough and cold, its application in whitening teeth has never been backed by scientific support. We want to emphasize one thing, and that will conclude this blog: the active ingredients used in Vicks Vaporub are not meant for any dental issues. Using it for another purpose can have lots of side effects.

Mansi Balodi
Mansi Balodi
My life is always on a run but I try to find time for myself to let my wisdom and knowledge help and guide you. In my blogs, I will try to demystify the complexities of topics and will connect with you with ease of understanding. So let's explore the treasure of the world with words.

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