Can You Take Ibuprofen for a Toothache? Consider These Approaches Instead
Toothaches are one of the most common health conditions experienced by people of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 40% of adults experience pain in their mouths, and more than 80% of people will have at least one cavity by the time they reach age 34.
Nothing is worse than a throbbing toothache that won’t go away. It can be excruciatingly painful and can even keep us awake at night. If you are grappling with a chronic toothache, you’re likely desperate for relief, and you may ask yourself, ‘Can you take ibuprofen for a toothache?’
While it may seem natural to reach for ibuprofen to relieve that pain quickly, this may not be the best solution. There are other approaches available that may provide more effective pain management. Read on to find out what approaches you can take to lead a normal life despite your toothache.
1. Get Familiar With Your Oral Anatomy Early
A toothache can be debilitating. The immediate thought when this happens is to reach for painkillers. However, we need to ask the question – can you take ibuprofen for a toothache? Regularly taking ibuprofen isn’t a good choice, especially when dealing with a chronic toothache. Fortunately, there are other approaches to take before resorting to painkillers. One such option? Getting familiar with your oral anatomy early on.
A basic understanding of the different parts of the mouth is essential for any approach to treating a toothache. For instance, understanding the different parts of the tooth, such as the crown, root, enamel, and dentin, can be helpful when it comes to spotting signs of decay or infection.
For children, visiting a pediatric dentist provides an opportunity to learn more about teeth and gum health and get any necessary treatments. A visit to a kids dentist can include the following:
- Fluoride treatments
- Teeth cleaning
- X-rays to detect cavities
- Sealants that help protect the teeth from decay
These treatments can help prevent toothaches and decay, so it’s important to be proactive and establish a regular dental care program early on. Kidshealth recommends taking your child to a dentist at least twice a year.
2. Correct Your Smile While You’re Young
We’ve all been there; that nagging toothache that won’t go away no matter how much ibuprofen you take. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be tempted to pop a pill and forgo the dentist. However, there’s a better way to get rid of that toothache and improve your smile – and it starts by correcting your smile while you’re young.
Many important changes are happening at this young and crucial time in your life. Your smile is typically one of the first things that people notice. Therefore, when it comes to teeth and smiles, it’s best to take preventative measures now so that you won’t regret it later on.
A great solution to get started is to work with reputable orthodontists who can identify and diagnose any potential issues while they’re still relatively minor and fix them with braces or even Invisalign. Invisalign aligners are an increasingly popular choice amongst kids and teens, as they work to gently shift teeth into the right place without wires or metal braces.
Considering all of this, the answer to the question, ‘can you take ibuprofen for a toothache?’ is no. The best way to combat a toothache is to take preventative measures, like visiting your orthodontist regularly, especially while you’re still young. Taking steps to correct your smile can save you a lot of pain, time, and money in the long run.
3. Learn How to Use Your Tongue and Jaw Properly
A toothache is an extremely unpleasant experience for most of us. You might want to reach for ibuprofen to numb the pain, but this is not always the best choice of action.
An effective alternative is learning how to use your tongue and jaw muscles properly. Misalignment or excessive tension can lead to grinding, clenching, and jaw pains that, if left unchecked, can worsen dental health. Fortunately, learning how to use your mouth’s muscles properly is easier than you think.
Start by becoming aware of your current tongue and jaw positions and locating the muscles in your neck and chin that control them. Then practice slowly and consistently, with the help of a qualified language and speech therapy professional, how to control these muscles properly. This strengthened awareness of your mouth will help detect tension and teach you better and less strenuous habits.
The benefits of tongue and jaw muscle control go beyond just relieving a toothache. Once you master the techniques, you will be able to:
- Improve the sound of your speech.
- Correct any misaligned teeth.
- Reduce any potential headaches or facial pains.
If you’re in pain and wondering, can you take ibuprofen for a toothache? Take a moment to consider your options by learning how to use your tongue and jaw properly and take a more natural approach to relief. With the help of a speech professional, you can relax, feel better, and even avoid unnecessary medical bills.
4. Request Headgear If You Need It
When dealing with tooth pain, most people first think of: can you take ibuprofen for a toothache? However, before reaching for the medicine, one approach you should consider that might give you some relief is requesting headgear to help with any misalignment in your jaw or teeth.
Headgear may only be a piece of suitable medical equipment for some patients. Of course, if the toothache is due to a deep cavity or infection, it’ll be best to visit your dentist immediately. However, if your toothache is due to misalignment, requesting headgear can be a great option, as it can help you achieve relief while also correcting the root cause of the issue.
Unfortunately, getting custom headgear may be expensive, as it has to be made by professionals either in person or over an online alignment service. The cost may also vary by location, so research before making any decisions. However, the relief you get from your toothache can be worth the cost if you decide to go down this route.
In short, if you have a toothache and think that misalignment is the underlying cause, taking ibuprofen might not be your best option. Requesting headgear from your orthodontist or dentist is a great alternative and can relieve your pain while also correcting the problem.
5. Proper Alignment Can Clear Up Congestion and Pain
A toothache can be debilitating. But before you head to the drugstore for ibuprofen, consider other alternatives that might work better for you. Proper alignment can be an effective way to clear up congestion and pain without the need for medication.
When the teeth and jaw are not properly aligned, the small muscles surrounding the jaw can become overly tense, resulting in congested sinus cavities. The congestion can lead to a toothache, as the pressure builds up around your teeth and gums.
A visit to an orthodontist may help to relieve these pains. Through the adjustment of the teeth and jaw, they can straighten the teeth and realign the jaw to encourage proper breathing. However, before you do orthodontic work, you should investigate other causes of the pain. For many people, the culprit is an allergic reaction, and you can easily find relief from the congestion with allergy treatment.
The next time you ask yourself, ‘Can you take ibuprofen for a toothache?’ you may want to consider this alternative approach. Proper alignment can do wonders for relieving congestion and pain, so ensure that you visit your local orthodontist and discuss your individual needs and circumstances.
6. Look Into Supplemental Services to Align Yourself
When dealing with a toothache, ibuprofen is usually a go-to for relieving temporary pain and inflammation. But when dealing with chronic pain, such as a toothache, consider other approaches. Supplemental services, such as corrective chiropractic care, can effectively target the root cause of your pain and get lasting relief.
Chiropractic care is great for releasing tense muscles and targeting tight areas in the jaw and neck that can be contributing factors when experiencing a toothache. Corrective chiropractic care aims at restoring movement and function to joints and muscles, allowing the body to heal itself and get back to its optimal level of performance.
Regular sessions of corrective chiropractic care can reduce the severity of a toothache and help other areas of your body – such as your neck, back, and shoulders – that may show signs of tension and discomfort. The relief of muscle tension and improved range of motion can also help you avoid future pain and keep your spine safe.
As such, it’s important to ask yourself: Can you take ibuprofen for a toothache? While it may temporarily provide relief, it’s best to look into chiropractic care to align yourself and ensure a long-term solution to your toothache.
7. Care For Teeth With Professional Cleanings
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Can you take ibuprofen for a toothache?’ It seems like an easy solution, but before you reach for the bottle of ibuprofen the next time you experience pain from a toothache, it’s important to consider caring for your teeth with professional cleanings.
It’s important to clean your teeth regularly to prevent decay and diseases, and regular professional cleanings can help prevent toothaches and stop any underlying problems before they worsen.
When you go in for a cleaning, the practitioner will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup gently. They’ll also examine your teeth and check for signs of decay or disease. If they find any, they can provide you with swift treatment. Cleanings also help to strengthen and smooth out the enamel of your teeth and prevent future cavities from forming.
If you’re asking yourself, ‘Can you take ibuprofen for a toothache?’ The answer is no. While ibuprofen can help with the pain and discomfort of a toothache in the short term, it won’t address the underlying cause of your toothache. Instead, head to your dentist for a professional cleaning and comprehensive examination.
8. The Same Goes for Your Pets, Too!
Just as you would with yourself, you should take your pet to the vet to determine the cause and appropriate treatment of the toothache. Animals should also have regular check-ups with an animal dentist to ensure optimal oral health.
A pet’s toothache is often caused by an infection of the gums, plaque accumulation, or fractures due to an injury. All of these conditions should be identified and treated by a professional.
Your vet can prescribe the appropriate treatments. If a dental infection is detected, they may suggest a course of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory. They may also recommend dental treatment, such as tooth extraction, if the infected tooth is beyond repair. To prevent plaque buildup and to keep tartar from hardening, your vet may suggest you brush your pet’s teeth regularly.
By taking preventive measures, investing in quality pet dental care, and scheduling animal dentistry services regularly, you can help ensure that your pet won’t need any pain medications to relieve a toothache in the future.
There’s no single straight answer to the question: Can You Take Ibuprofen for a Toothache? Sometimes, even the simplest of healthcare decisions can be confusing. Taking ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be tempting for pain relief if you have a toothache. However, since ibuprofen does not deal with the underlying cause of the pain, it may offer only temporary relief.
More sustainable approaches to dealing with a toothache should include the following:
- Seeking professional dental care.
- Making behavior modifications in the self-care of teeth.
- Finding natural remedies to help relieve the pain.
These choices can reduce or eliminate the need to take ibuprofen.
Whether you take ibuprofen or opt for a different course of action, remember to take the proper precautions and pay attention to your body’s response. Ultimately, you should take advice from a dental professional if the problem persists because a toothache can be a warning sign of a dental emergency.