This page continues from the discussion of the pros and cons of conventional painkillers such as Acetaminophen / Paracetamol (Tylenol, Panadol), Aspirin etc.

Sample toothache testimonial involving a conventional painkiller (Ibuprofen)

"I had absolutely excruciating pain in one of my molars. When more natural approaches (salt water etc.) didn't work anylonger, I topically applied ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) which combats pain, fever, AND inflammation. This application totally relieved my pain. I assume that by bringing down the level of infection, the anti-inflammatory action of the drug allowed my body to successfully deal with the remaining infection. The nerve is alive to this day, i.e. wasn't just killed off (or committed suicide) in the process."[1]


While "officially" used as a radical germ-fighter, Chlorhexidine has shown absolutely amazing effects with various types of toothache (including extreme ones) as well. For details see Chlorhexidine: a powerful conventional germ fighter and mouthwash for occasional and emergency use.

Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash

Both reported as an effective toothache remedy (killing germs & offending bacteria that swarm in a "rotten" infected tooth) and as a preventive routine which helped forestall future toothaches and infections.

Warm salt water followed by rinsing with Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash is also reported extremely effective, taking the pain away in minutes. As with salt water rinses, in cases of more intractable pain one could combine it for instance with the subsequent local application of half a painkiller tablet such as Aspirin directly applied to the offending tooth and/or at its base between the gums and cheek. Due to the gradual dissolving of the pill, it will numb the pain for quite a while.

Note: Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes Listerine, tests on animals, an important reason to not buy their products. Tips how to become a caring consumer.

Colgate Peroxyl mouthrinse

for mouth lesions, contains mostly peroxide.

Dr. Tichenor's antiseptic peppermint mouthwash concentrated formula

Available at drug stores/Walgreens. Use concentrated (no water added) directly on aching tooth, apply with dropper if available, let stand as long as possible (It will burn), spit, don't rinse, repeat as needed. Someone reported that it numbs the pain more effectively than tooth gels.
Also used for insect bites, sore throats and other purposes.

Mouthwash, alcohol-based

Gargle/rinse (a user promised quick pain relief), repeat as needed.

Orajel® Maximum Strength Anesthetic Pain Relief Gel

Main active ingredient: benzocaine. Also contains allantoin, benzalkonium chloride, clove oil, edetate disodium, peppermint oil, polyethylene glycol, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium saccharin, sorbic acid, zinc chloride. Someone reported saying that it numbed the pain straight away and lasted "longer than most medicines". (A similar medication with the active ingredient benzocaine 20% is called Anbesol).

Orajel® comes with the following warnings:

"Allergy alert: Do not use this product if you have a history of allergy to local anesthetics such as procaine, butacaine, benzocaine or other 'caine' anesthetics.

Do not use

  • more than directed
  • for more than 7 days unless told to do so by a dentist or doctor.

Stop use and ask a doctor if

  • swelling, rash or fever develops
  • irritation, pain, or redness persists or worsens.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away."

(Healing Teeth Naturally's comment: Mmh, this sounds like it must be good for you ...)

Toothache gum

Likely available in drugstores/pharmacies and similar outlets under names such as "Dent's Toothache Gum" and perhaps others, I would suggest to first throughly rinse your mouth with warm salt water and if the pain persists, to cut a piece of gum to fit the painful tooth and apply. Since the gum creates a shield against food particles, air etc., it might be particularly useful for any exposed cavities or those hurting more when touched by food or air.


Even toothpaste pushed into the hole of an aching tooth has relieved pain "in seconds".

Compare natural, nontoxic and home toothache and dental remedies.

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1 For adverse effects of ibuprofen and similar drugs, see the page discussing the pros and cons of conventional painkillers.

More on conventional approaches in dentistry