Should You Dissolve an Aspirin on a Tooth to Relieve a Toothache?

If you have a nagging toothache, your first priority is likely to be getting rid of the pain. Taking painkillers orally will help you manage your pain; however, you'll have to wait for the medication to get into your system before you get relief. You may have heard that you can deal with toothache pain more quickly if you place an aspirin tablet on the aching tooth so that it dissolves on the tooth itself. While this may get the analgesic to the source of your pain more quickly, it does come with a couple of disadvantages. Why isn't it a good idea to put an aspirin directly on a tooth? 

Aspirin May Burn Soft Tissues

If you put an aspirin on an aching tooth, it will dissolve slowly on to the site of the pain. This may give you immediate pain relief; however, you may also damage your tooth and gums. Aspirin contains acid that may actually burn soft tissues. If you take this pain relief route or if you chew an aspirin or crush it up and place it on the tooth, you may do more damage than good and could end up needing more dental treatment than you would have originally needed to fix your toothache.

Aspirin May Increase Bleeding

As well as painkilling effects, aspirin may also affect your blood and how it works. Aspirin thins the blood and reduces its ability to clot. According to myDr, you should actually try to avoid using aspirin to manage a toothache before you get to the dentist because of the increased risk of bleeding it brings.

While this may not be an issue if you just swallow down a couple of aspirins to manage your toothache before you go to the dentist, it may become more of an issue if you regularly take aspirin or if you take other blood-thinning drugs for other conditions. In these cases, you may find it easier to find other ways to deal with your toothache.

Aspirin Alternatives for Toothache

To be on the safe side, it may be better to take other analgesic medications to reduce your toothache pain. Paracetamol is a viable option that is typically safe for most people. Ibuprofen may work particularly well on a toothache as the drug has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce swelling as well as manage pain.

If your toothache is really bothering you, you may get quicker pain relief by taking soluble tablets rather than swallowing regular ones. As well as taking medications, you may find that you can reduce your pain by following these tips until you can get to your dentist:

  • Hold something cold such as an ice pack or wet flannel against the side of your face that hurts.
  • Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to water to make an antiseptic mouthwash.
  • Dab a little drop of clove oil or a clove oil toothache treatment on the tooth.

Warning: Before taking pain relief medications, make sure to read the instructions to check that the tablets are suitable for you to use. It's also important to stick to the recommended daily dose and not to take tablets for longer periods than those recommended by the manufacturer.