Tooth pain can be annoyingly painful, particularly if you know you have to wait a while for your dentist appointment. So what can you do until then? There are a few home remedies you can use to minimize discomfort, but if you’d rather go over-the-counter, then Orajel is a product worth considering.
Orajel, made by Church and Dwight, is actually a product line. It can target a number of mouth-related pains such as cold sores, toothache, and mouth sores. With teeth specifically, Orajel products often make use of gel or cream which aim to reduce tooth pain almost immediately after application. They can also come in liquid or swab form. Products range from targeting regular toothache to severe and ‘maximum’ toothache. It is the concentration of active ingredients which determine how strong the particular Orajel product is.
The main active ingredient in Orajel toothache gel is benzocaine. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic, meaning it relieves pain in and around the area of the body to which it is applied. It does this by blocking nerve signals in the body. For a regular toothache, Orajel contains 10% benzocaine, while its maximum-strength gel contains 20% benzocaine. In addition, the maximum-strength gel contains a small amount of menthol, which acts as a soothing agent.
Benzocaine does come with risks, however. It may cause a life-threatening condition called methemoglobinemia, which means red blood cells cannot deliver oxygen to the body. More information on this condition and how it relates to benzocaine can be found here, but if someone feels tired, confused, light-headed and has a fast heart-rate after taking a benzocaine product, seek medical help immediately.
Orajel may help reduce tooth pain to help with day-to-day activities, but should not be considered a permanent treatment. Visit your nearest dentist for the most effective treatment for toothache. Brush, floss and maintain dental hygiene to prevent a toothache in future.
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