Tooth pain medication is usually necessary to help manage a toothache. While an over-the-counter pain reliever may be enough to relieve a mild tooth pain, a toothache may become so severe that only a much stronger prescription toothache medicine may help. You should always ask your dentist or physician before you take any pain medicine, especially if you take and other medications.Overview Over the Counter Meds Prescription Meds Safety Precautions
About toothache medicines
A toothache can occur for many different causes either as a symptom of dental problem such as tooth decay, tooth abscess or tooth fracture, but it can also follow after a dental treatment such as an extraction, root canal or even after a common dental filling.
The tooth pain, whatever the cause, is in most cases the result of the irritation of dental or periodontal tissues and teeth nerves. For this reason anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used as tooth pain medications.
The group of drugs most commonly used to provide tooth pain relief, referred as ‘analgesics’, has analgesic (anti-pain), antipyretic (fever reducing) and anti-inflammatory properties. For severe cases, usually for post-surgery dental pain, narcotics are also used. Tooth pain medicines include a variety of substances, either individually or combined with others to provide increased effectiveness. Some of them are available over-the-counter but other can be purchased only with prescription from a medical professional.
Types of toothache medication
Depending on the severity of the toothache and the existence or not of an infection, the most common categories of toothache medication used are:
Over-the-counter tooth pain medicines
When you have a mild toothache, medicines that can be purchased over-the counter without a doctor's prescription are usually adequate enough to manage the dental pain. Less serious dental problems such as a small cavity will rarely require a stronger medication.
In most cases toothaches happen unexpectedly, and the pain may escalate in a few hours. When this happens during the night, or when you can not reach a doctor to give you a prescription, an over the counter tooth analgesic can provide some relief even for severe toothaches.
This category of pain killers includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen and numbing gels. They can be purchased from local pharmacies and most grocery stores without prescription, but caution is nevertheless necessary because some medical conditions are contradicting their use.
Toothache Medicine for Kids
Pain relievers based on acetaminophen can be used by kids, but you should ask your doctor to advise you about the right dosage based on your child’s weight. Toothache medicines containing aspirin should not be used by children because they can increase the risk of developing a serious health condition known as Reye's syndrome. Low concentration numbing gels for children are also commercially available. Some of them are available in liquid form and can be applied directly in the painful area with a soft brush.