Toothaches usually sneak up unexpectedly, and the pain can worsen quickly. When this occurs at night or when you can’t get a dentist appointment, over-the-counter pain medicine is your best option for relief.
Selecting the right one for you involves knowing what each medication is for, and whether or not you can safely take it. Follow these guidelines in choosing over-the-counter pain relievers.
Ibuprofen is the most popular pain relief medication for dental use that you can purchase without a prescription. It is an anti-inflammatory drug, which is helpful since inflammation is a common issue with most dental aches and pains. Some medications conflict with ibuprofen, so before taking it you should consult your dentist, doctor, or pharmacist.
Another popular over-the-counter pain medicine is acetaminophen, especially for those unable to take ibuprofen. Discuss taking acetaminophen with an expert because there are possible side effects and drug interactions.
Like ibuprofen, aspirin can help with both pain and swelling. However, there are certain people who should not take aspirin. For example, children shouldn’t take aspirin because it can cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. Consult your healthcare provider before taking aspirin.
Topical Numbing Gel
Over-the-counter numbing gels, such as Orajel and Anbesol, are placed right on the painful area. These gels contain benzocaine, an ingredient that provides quick relief by numbing the area. However, the effect lasts only a short time. Lower concentration gels are available for children.
Although not exactly an over-the-counter pain reliever, another item you can get without a prescription is ice. It is often recommended for pain relief. Placing an ice pack at the area of tooth pain and holding it there for twenty minutes is usually suggested. This can be done every four hours to help with pain.
If your pain persists please request a consultation with Dr. Templeton to determine the best course of action.