Aspirin for Toothaches: Take it, Don’t Apply it

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In recognition of National Diabetes Month in November, Emergency Dental Care USA reminds diabetics and other patients to seek care from a dentist for dental emergencies.

Aspirin
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.

Diabetics are more susceptible to gum disease and oral health issues because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, according to the American Dental Association.

In recognition of National Diabetes Month in November, Emergency Dental Care USA reminds diabetics and other patients to seek care from a dentist for dental emergencies.

"When it's midnight and someone has a full-blown toothache, they often start searching the Web for remedies," according to Michael Obeng, D.D.S. of Emergency Dental Care USA. "But sometimes, those remedies may be worse than the toothache."

Those in pain can find advice on websites and forums 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 a 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.”

About Emergency Dental Care USA:
Founded in 1996, Emergency Dental Care USA specializes in serving walk-in patients and those seeking immediate treatment for their dental emergencies. Emergency Dental Care USA has 13 offices in seven states.

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