The Best Medications to Stop Tooth Pain Fast
Oh My Aching Tooth!
Excruciating: Extremely painful; causing intense suffering; unbearably distressing; torturing.
I am a stranger to pain. The reason for this is because I do everything I can to avoid pain. My husband, also, does everything he can for me to avoid pain. He knows that as long as I am in pain, life is unbearable—for him and for me. With him at my side, we searched high and low to find anything tested or not, that would be a solution to the pain I would need to be relieved of if we ever wanted to have a normal life.
Certainly, I am not a doctor, and I can’t prescribe medication. But, after my experience with tooth pain, I am somewhat of an expert in tooth pain relief by now and I can share what worked for me to get the tooth pain to stop - fast. I can save readers time and money as they search for solutions to manage their own tooth pain.
Some medications are going to work for minor pain relief, no matter what kind of pain reliever you use. For me, when the pain was simply an annoyance, I knew a general pain reliever could be used. When my pain was just a dull throb, I used whatever I had in my medicine cabinet. I tried the various types of pain relievers to determine which one worked the best and the fastest. Over the period of time while I was waiting to see my dentist, I used aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. All of these pain relievers worked for my tooth pain.
My recommendation for fast pain relief: Acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen relieved my tooth pain within 5 to 10 minutes and I did not experience any adverse side effects. When I read the back of the label, I saw that acetaminophen had the least number of adverse side effects in relation to my health concerns. So, I was happy that my tooth pain could be relieved so quickly with acetaminophen.
Other people will need to read the cautions and warnings to determine which type of pain reliever will be most beneficial with the least amount of side effects to their body and health concerns.
While all of these medications worked for me at the time I took them (not all at one time, of course) I would be negligent if I didn't share some precautions that come with taking these medications. See the chart titled "Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers for Tooth Pain".
Over-the-Counter Tooth Pain Remedies
Provides temporary relief of headache, pain and fever of colds, muscle pain, menstrual pain, toothache, and minor pain of arthritis.
Reye’s syndrome: Children and teenagers who have or who are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product. When using this product, if changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome, rare but serious illness. Allergy alert: Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include hives, facial swelling, asthma (wheezing), and shock.
Temporarily relieves minor aches and pains due to headache, muscular aches, backache, arthritis, the common cold, toothache, menstrual cramps, reduces fever.
Alcohol warning: If you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day, ask your doctor whether you should take acetaminophen or other pain reliever/fever reducers. Acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Also, do not use with any other product containing acetaminophen, and stop using the product and ask your doctor if new symptoms occur, redness of swelling is present, pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days, fever gets worse or lasts for more than 3 days. Finally, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before using acetaminophen.
Temporarily relieves minor aches and pain due to headache, muscular aches, menstrual cramps, the common cold, backache, toothache, minor pain or arthritis, and temporarily reduces fever.
Ask your doctor before use if you are pregnant, under a doctor’s care for a serious condition, age 60 or over; taking any other drug or have stomach problems. This product may cause a severe allergic reaction, especially in people allergic to aspirin. Symptoms may include hives, facial swelling, asthma (wheezing), shock, skin reddening, rash, and blisters. If an allergic reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away. Do not use this product if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any aspirin reliever/fever reducer. This product may cause stomach bleeding. Long term continuous use of this product may increase risk of heart attack or stroke.
From a Toothache to Tooth Pain
The onslaught of my tooth ache began as a dull throb. In fact, at first, I just worked through the pain – no big deal. Then, as time went on, gradually, that dull throb turned into the most excruciating pain I had experienced in my life. I elevated tooth pain to the number one position above childbirth pain. This pain was excruciating, note – excruciating. As long as the pain was dull, I could take over-the-counter pain medication and go on about my day as usual, but when the pain transitioned to the level of excruciation, I could barely function.
Ice is considered an analgesic (pain reliever) and is often recommended for pain. An ice pack placed at the site of the tooth pain is the universal "go to" solution for relieving tooth pain. Just hold the ice pack to the face on the side where you are experiencing tooth pain. Hold the ice pack in this position for at least 20 minutes. Do this every four hours to help alleviate pain.
When I hear ice packs and 20 minutes, I want to say, forget ice packs! Twenty minutes is just too long to wait for tooth pain relief. When I have unbearable tooth pain, I need tooth pain medication that works fast.
Why didn’t I go to the dentist, you ask? Well, at the time, I didn’t have dental insurance and although I was in extraordinary pain, I am overly afraid of dentists. I didn't want to pay money out of my pocket to have more pain that would be caused by a dentist who didn't understand my severe aversion to pain. I had a wonderful dentist in the hometown from which I had recently moved, but I am living in a new city now, which is hundreds of miles away from my family dentist and I was too afraid to try someone new.
I discovered that the reason my tooth began to ache so much was because the tooth had cracked. It had split vertically from the base up to the gum line. I was not going to be able to fix this on my own, so I had no choice but to call a local dentist. But, the dentists I called didn’t see my cracked tooth as an emergency and so it would be a month before I could get in to see a dentist. I scheduled an appointment with a dentist whose promotional material claimed, “Friendly staff with painless solutions for all your dental needs.” No pain? Well, that was the office for me. But, in the meantime, until I could get in to see the dentist, I had to manage the pain on my own
Gel Tooth Pain Reliever
Probably, the most widely known solution for immediate pain relief is a gel that is placed on the area of the mouth that is in pain. The active ingredient in oral pain relievers for tooth pain is benzocaine. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic (numbing medication). It works by blocking nerve signals in your body. I used an over-the-counter gel containing benzocaine for a short period of time. It worked immediately. But, there are some precautions to be taken seriously when using benzocaine.
Benzocaine can cause a condition called methemoglobinemia. Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include headache, fatigue, confusion, fast heart rate, and feeling light-headed or short of breath, with a pale, blue, or gray appearance of your skin, lips, or fingernails. (Reference: Drugs.com) Symptoms can occur after a very short time of using a product containing benzocaine, and up to two hours after application. Remember, I was in severe pain, so the side effects were a mere inconvenience at the time. I used a gel tooth pain reliever and it worked very well. And, I'll mention again, it worked fast—almost immediately.
But, please take heed of the cautions known when using over-the-counter gel tooth pain relievers containing benzocaine.
Sometimes, untreated tooth infections can evolve into a condition called encephalitis, which is a condition where the brain substance becomes inflamed. The condition can be treated, however, if left unattended, encephalitis can lead to high fever, convulsions, coma, and in some cases, death. While my dentist could not treat my cracked tooth immediately, he set an "exploratory" appointment so that he could prescribe an antibiotic to assure that I would not get an infection before my scheduled "analysis and treatment" appointment. (Reference: WebMD.com)
Alternative Antibiotic Solution
Garlic Oil has been known to relieve inflammation in the body. Some cultures use garlic oil as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Well, once my dentist’s 10-day antibiotic subscription was used up, I figured I should do all that I could to continue the effect of the antibiotics. I read all I could about alternative solutions to antibiotics and noticed that garlic oil was a prevalent solution. I started taking 1000 mg of garlic oil four times a day. Folks, I do believe it worked. While I cannot guarantee that the garlic oil worked, I can attest to the fact that during the months’ time while I waited to see my dentist, I never developed an infection due to my cracked tooth.
My tooth was split from the base to the gum line. Instinctually, I knew that if food were to get trapped inside the crevice, I could develop an infection. My dentist appointment was a month away, so I had to devise a solution that would keep the two halves of my tooth held together tightly. I tried several over-the-counter solutions offered at the local pharmacy. None of them worked. In fact, they failed miserably.
Instant Tooth Bonding Products
The label promises "instant pain relief." Well, I tried two tubes of this product. I followed the directions religiously "to the tooth", so to speak, and discovered that it did not work as promised. I was very dissatisfied. In fact, my tooth pain was worse after trying this product than had I not messed with the product at all.
Please do not waste your money on buying instant tooth bonding products. In my experience, it did not work and made the pain worse. And, as you already know, I am not a fan of pain. If I can save you against additional pain, not recommending this product is one way to accomplish that endeavor.
Temporary Tooth Wrapping
When the instant tooth bonding product did not work, I was in extraordinarily extreme pain. I had to find a solution - fast!
People say, "necessity is the mother of invention." Well, by this time, it was necessary for me to find relief for the awful tooth pain I was experiencing at that moment. And, I don't know how my brain came up with the idea, but my brain helped me invent a solution that relieved my tooth pain - immediately! Don't ask me how I developed the process to my pain relief solution, but somehow, I had the sense to:
- Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water. Somehow, I knew that salt water was a sanitizing solution for the mouth. I must have actually learned something way back in high school biochemestry class. In any event, the knowledge came in handy when I needed it the most.
- Swirl and rinse my mouth with the salt water solution for about one minute. Sipping, swirling, and spitting the salt water for about a minute was all I needed. And, during the process, I could feel the pain subsiding. I knew I was on to something wonderful.
- Wrap a string of dental floss (tape) around my tooth. I wrapped dental floss tape around my tooth three times - once to secure the bond, another to enforce the bond, and a third time to be able to tie the floss without jeapordizing the initial bond. Then, I cut the excess floss with a pair of sterilized scissors.
I was pleasantly surprised. After wraping my tooth, the tooth pain stopped. I was able to eat and feel normal almost immediately after tying my tooth with the dental floss.
Incidentally, when I mentioned to the dentist that I was wrapping my tooth with dental floss, the dentist said that he had never heard of anything like it. He said it was an ingenious idea and that I should keep doing that until I could get in for my appointment.
The tooth was wrapped securely. Food particles and bacteria were blocked, which lessened the chance of infection. I felt good about how I was protecting my body from infection, so at that moment, I was a very happy camper!
The tooth wrapping strategy proved to be an excellent solution and from that day forward. My tooth pain was relieved until the day that I could go in to see my new dentist.
Treat Tooth Pain Seriously
Tooth pain can be a sign of underlying problems and should always be taken seriously. Most people do not have to endure tooth pain for as long of a period as I did, but whenever you are in a position where you are forced to manage tooth pain, rest assured that there are viable over-the-counter medications to help you stop tooth pain fast.
Consider ice as an analgesic. It doesn't work fast, but it can be used in conjunction with tooth pain medication that works fast.
For fast relief, consider over-the-counter pain medication such as a topical pain relieving gel. You can also take aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. And, if you have a tooth that is split vertically, consider wrapping it with dental floss tape.
These are my temporary solutions for fast tooth pain relief. For ultimate tooth pain relief, I recommend seeing your dentist, preferably one who specializes in "pain free" dental solutions.