Aspirin is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It was the first NSAID to be ever discovered. NSAID’s are a class of drugs that help relieve pain, lower inflammation, and reduce fever.
Aspirin contains a salicylate compound that is found in plants such as myrtle and willow tree. Aspirin is used to treat many conditions, especially to manage pain and swelling, while also reducing the dangers of heart attack and strokes in patients with high risk. In general, aspirin is used to treat mild to moderate pain and swelling and health issues such as,
- Tylenol for Cold and flu
- Tylenol for Migraine and Headaches
- Tylenol Menstrual cramps
- Arthritis and migraine
- Sprains and strain
How does Aspirin Work?
Aspirin is an antipyretic (fever reducer), analgesic (pain reliever), and anti-inflammatory (fights swelling and inflammation). As mentioned before, aspirin is an NSAID. Like other NSAIDs, aspirin also chemically addresses the nerve signals by blocking the effects of certain enzymes that create prostaglandins, meaning less pain and minor swelling. In addition to this, aspirin can also reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes. Aspirin works to stave off the platelets in your blood from clumping and clotting your arteries, escalating the blood flow to your brain and heart. (Vane, J.R. and Botting, R.M., 2003. The mechanism of action of aspirin)
Can Aspirin be used for Toothache?
The leading cause of toothache is swelling inside the tooth. However, unlike other swellings on your body, the swelling inside your tooth hurts more. This is because the surrounding tooth structure is rigid and not flexible/ expandable. This means that the swelling inside your tooth has got nowhere to go. This pressure that you feel inside your tooth is what you call toothache and is the thing that makes you feel like your tooth is about to explode.
People often think aspirin can cure your toothache. It is pretty accurate, but this common misconception is that placing an aspirin on your tongue can relieve your pain. Placing aspirin on your tooth or gums only allows the aspirin to dissolve into your bloodstream slowly. This is an inferior way to ingest aspirin into your system.
The generic name of aspirin is Acetylsalicylic Acid, which explains the corrosive effects that the tablets possess. Placing aspirin on your gum causes chemical burns to take place. Being an acid, it will start to attack your enamel. If this process is repeated, severe erosions may occur. The aspirin begins to burn your gums as well as your cheeks if placed on the gums. It will usually look like some of the gums and cheek tissues have turned white, which in reality is burn damage. (Seymour, R.A., 1983. The efficacy of self-prescribed analgesics in the treatment of toothache)
The proper way to take aspirin to treat a toothache is by swallowing it. Aspirin works by being ingested. Once the tablet is in the stomach, it starts to make its way through the body and bloodstream. Aspirin relieves the aches by blocking the pain signals from being sent to the brain. The way it helps is by interrupting the pain chemicals in the bloodstream.
Doctors prescribe a 600mg dosage of aspirin every two hours to treat toothache. This would mean you will have a four-hour gap between each dosage; however, do not take more than the daily dose as recommended on the box. New research has found out that aspirin holds a few dental benefits despite its concerns. Taking low dosages of aspirin repairs damaged cavities in the tooth. A research team in British found that aspirin can enhance the function of stem cells located in the teeth. Aspirin also increases the expression of genes that work to form dentin (the primary structure of the teeth damaged by decay). (Faisal, M.D: a potential plant for treatment of toothache)
So yes, aspirin can help deal with toothache but only if swallowed and not by placing it on your tongue. There are also many other treatments available to treat toothache. You should see a dentist if your tooth starts aching too much. To take proper care of your teeth, book a dental checkup appointment every six months to ensure your oral health.