Toothaches & Painkillers

Toothache is one of the most common reasons to see an emergency dentist. It can occur due to a multitude of reasons, vary in intensity and duration.

Everyone reacts differently to painkillers for dental pain.

There are a few over the counter painkillers which are readily available.

Ibuprofen this can really help with toothache as it is an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic. You can buy this in tablet or soluble form. It is not advised for asthmatics or people with certain stomach problems.

Paracetamol This is readily available over the counter and comes in tablet and soluble form. Many patients find this effective for dental pain. You can buy it with caffeine formulation (helps it work faster) or with codeine.

Paracetamol and codeine or paramol is a combination tablet. The codeine component is an opioid and can cause drowsiness which may impair normal function. You can buy these in tablet or soluble form. You have to be careful not to take additional paracetamol or codeine tablets if you are taking paramol, and you shouldn’t use them for longer than 3 days. You should avoid alcohol.

Aspirin Readily available, and in a number of combinations with caffeine and ibuprofen. Should be avoided in children under 16 and if you are planning a dental extraction.

See an emergency dentist if you have toothache:

  • that lasts more than 2 days
  • that doesn’t go away when you take painkillers
  • with a high temperature, pain when you bite, red gums, or a bad taste in your mouth
  • and your cheek or jaw are swollen

Your GP won’t be able to give you dental treatment.