Posted: August 21st, 2012
Applying aspirin to the tooth that’s in pain may cause more problems than it solves. For best results, take the aspirin to relieve pain, then call your dentist.
It’s midnight. The twinge in your tooth has developed into a full-blown toothache, and you can’t sleep. So you start searching the Web for remedies. The suggestions you find may be worse than the toothache, says Michael Obeng, D.D.S., of Emergency Dental Care USA. Those in pain are advised to apply clove oil, chewing tobacco, cayenne pepper and even catnip to their painful teeth to find some relief.
One of the most enduring myths about pain relief for toothache is to place the whole aspirin directly on the gum next to the tooth. “I had a patient who did that,” Dr. Obeng said. “He was a very intelligent guy. And he swore up and down that the pain went away.”
Dr. Obeng’s advice: “Please don’t do that. If you’re going to use aspirin, swallow it. If you place the aspirin directly on the gum next to your tooth, it will actually burn your gum.”
Aspirin or non-steroid anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as ibuprofen will help relieve the pain and swelling for many patients until they can get to the dentist.
“However, I’ve seen patients whose toothaches were so severe that not even Vicodin could help,” said Dr. Obeng. “In those cases, only dental treatment will relieve the pain.”