What is the best painkiller for a toothache? Tooth pain is one of the excruciating conditions a person can experience. Generally speaking, it can affect even the other body parts once the pain is tremendous. For this reason, people often look for painkillers to relieve dental pain. The dentist is the best person to ask for help regarding the best painkiller for toothache. Some may even include home remedies, but we need to see a dentist for permanent options to counter pain. So, let’s move forward and see what we can apply for pain relief.
Nobody wants to experience this dental issue. It radiates to other parts of the body, causing additional sources of pain. It can cause a headache, earache, jaw pain, and many more. Furthermore, several reasons can lead a person to develop dental pain. One of these reasons is tooth decay. Tooth decay often starts with the food left between the teeth, and bacteria can feed on it.
In effect, plaque formation will begin. Despite knowing that we have tooth decay, we still need the help of the dentist. We don’t have the ability and tools to see our teeth more profoundly and how bad the tooth decay is. For this reason, booking a dental appointment as soon as possible is necessary. Our teeth need medical attention aside from practicing proper oral hygiene.
Moreover, disregarding toothache can increase the risk of developing other oral problems. Some of them could become severe and may require invasive treatment procedures. Gum disease might be in progress already. Meanwhile, we can apply a pain reliever to address pain temporarily.
Dental Pain Relief
We cannot remove the fact that oral issues can occur on hours that we least expect them. An excellent example of this is during the night, wherein the dental clinic may not be available. We are fortunate if we know a dental clinic that works beyond working hours.
However, if we don’t have such a clinic nearby, we look for options to help address our toothache pain. The following are a few pain relief options that we can turn to while waiting for our dental appointment.
Over-the-counter pain medication
I guess over-the-counter pain medication is the first thing that comes to mind to relieve tooth pain. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), excellent in providing pain relief. Let’s discuss them and know how they function individually, providing us the relief we need for our toothache.
Overall, ibuprofen (Advil) is the most common pain reliever for toothache. Ibuprofen is the generic name for Motrin or Advil. Aside from alleviating pain, it also consists of properties that can reduce inflammation. However, this medicine is not suitable for everyone. People who are taking certain medications or have existing health conditions may need to avoid NSAIDs.
Another medication applicable to address toothache is naproxen. It also belongs to NSAIDs that can help address various types of pain. It is effective in blocking the body’s production of certain natural substances that can cause inflammation.
3 Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Meanwhile, a dentist also recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol) as an alternative painkiller. Some cases of toothaches go away immediately when the patient takes doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen alternately.
Swallowing this medicine is better than placing it directly on the teeth experiencing pain. Doing the latter can only cause more damage to teeth. In effect, your toothache can become more severe. On the other hand, if you already landed on this medication, it only indicates that you need to see a dentist.
Note: Be sure to follow the prescribed doses of these medications to prevent overdose. The dentist’s prescription is an essential guide to address the pain in your teeth.
Side Effects of OTC Medications for Toothaches
Even the medicines for toothache have potential side effects. For this reason, we have to strictly follow what is indicated in the prescription that the dentist provided. We wouldn’t want to risk our health further due to overdosing. Below are the common side effects of OTC medicines.
- OTC medication can cause indigestion and stomach ache.
- It can progress to more severe problems, such as gastritis, ulcers, and bleeding in the stomach or bowel, relative to the first one.
- High doses of certain OTCs can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, affecting the heart and blood vessels.
Generally speaking, your doctor can provide you with alternatives to ensure your safety while addressing your source of pain. It would also help to let your dentist know about your existing health conditions. This way, they can be conscious of the medicines that they will recommend.
Other Remedies for Toothache
Nevertheless, not all of us are fond of taking a drug when it comes to teeth problems. In this case, the following remedies may help, primarily if the pain occurred during the night.
Clove Oil or Cloves
Aside from OTC medications, you can also try applying clove oil to the tooth that causes the pain. Cloves contain eugenol compounds that are effective in reducing discomfort from toothaches. It can numb the affected area.
Furthermore, cloves contain antibacterial properties. You can put the clove oil in a cotton ball and place it into the aching teeth. However, clove oil is not advisable for pregnant women. It would be best to ask the doctor or dentist for another pain reliever.
Ice Pack or Cold Compress
Another numbing option is an ice pack or cold compress. The use of ice on the cheek atop the affected area can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Additionally, patients can apply this remedy for 15-20 minutes every few hours to dull the pain before sleeping.
It would also help if the patient elevated their head using an extra pillow. This way, they can prevent blood pooling in the head, which adds to the pain and inflammation.
Of course, who doesn’t know about this remedy? It’s already an old one, but still a part of everyone’s life when we talk about a toothache. Saltwater has natural antibacterial properties that reduce inflammation. Furthermore, it protects the damaged teeth and gums from infection. You can also make a rinse using hydrogen peroxide, which is another option that can help reduce plaque and issues with the gums.
Overall, we have so many available remedies that can alleviate toothache pain. However, we need to remember that they could not treat the exact cause of this dental pain. It would be best to visit the dentist, especially if the symptoms already indicate an emergency.
Generally speaking, we have a lot of pain relievers available. However, we don’t know if they are suitable for our existing conditions. That is why we need to consult a dentist first. It is the only way to secure our safety before taking anything to address toothache.
Aside from that, a pain reliever is only a temporary solution to make the painful experience of toothache go away. It is better to let the dentists apply permanent treatment options to the underlying cause of the dental pain.
The treatment that dentists will apply depends on the exact cause of the problem in the mouth. Aside from decay, you could be hiding an infection, making it more painful. In this case, remedies may not be sufficient enough to take your tooth pain away.
Furthermore, the dentist can even foresee a disease that is about to progress in your teeth. In this case, they can treat it earlier and prevent it from developing into something severe. It is best to get rid of the direct source of pain to serve as the permanent solution to gum swelling and other symptoms.
Things to Ponder
Our oral health is an essential aspect of achieving excellent overall health. Any problem relative to the teeth, gums, or the whole mouth can radiate to other body parts, such as the head. The best example of this oral issue is an infection. The bacteria from the oral infection can spread throughout the other parts.
Painkillers are indeed helpful, but a long-term intake of these may induce complications. For this reason, it would be best to seek medical advice from your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist would love to see you in their clinic and provide you with the services that you need for your teeth. Never disregard any sign of a dental problem. Address them immediately.
How to get rid of a toothache at night, Jon Johnson, Medically reviewed by Christine Frank, DDS, August 22, 2019.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relief Medication for Dental Use, Shawn Watson, Medically reviewed by Sumaya Ibraheem, DDS, July 27, 2020.