Caries is, unfortunately, a common disease that everyone faces during their life. You can hardly find a person in this world who has never had at least one bad tooth destroyed by this pathology. Despite the tooth enamel is the strongest structure in the human body, it can be easily damaged as a result of abrupt temperature fluctuations, mechanical impact or the destructive activity of specific microorganisms. Oral hygiene can reduce the latter factor drastically. Still, there is no guarantee that your teeth will remain intact lifelong.
When some defects appear in the protective enamel coating, they open to microorganisms abundantly present in the mouth the access to the dentine, a tooth construction material. This is how the carious destruction of a tooth begins. Consequently, a continuously growing hole appears there, and this is, unfortunately, an irreversible process. The only way to stop it is seeking a dentist’s help.
In the beginning, caries symptoms are tiny, if any. Over time, however, they become more obvious. Some pain appears. Initially, it’s only when there is a contact with something hot/cold/sweet/sour. Later, the pain persists even when the contact is over. Over time, the carious process will inevitably reach the pulp chamber and result in the inflammation of its tissues. This can be very painful!
If the problem remains ignored at the pulpitis stage, the inflammatory process will involve also tissues around the bad tooth – periodontium and periosteum. In this case, you may find that the only possible solution of the problem is the removal of the tooth. Additionally, with periodontitis and periostitis, there is a risk of transferring the infection to other body organs. This can result in sepsis, which is a severe life-threatening condition.
That being said, the toothache is an alert informing you of the urgent necessity to visit a specialist, who can determine a specific diagnosis and perform all the necessary treatment procedures. In many cases, however, setting off for a doctor’s office right away is just impossible. The only way out in this case is to find a temporary solution and relieve the torture using some available drugs. For this end, you should have a relevant medicine in your home first aid kit. Most of the time, the first drug people refer to is aspirin. This is a popular non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication. So does in case of toothache aspirin on tooth really help?
How Aspirin Acts?
This organic compound is the oldest non-steroid anti-inflammatory remedy out there. This substance is a chemical modification of salicylic acid, which was first derived as far back as in the middle of the 19th century, when a German chemist Feliks Hoffman synthesized acetylsalicylic acid from salicylic acid. Later, Bayer was the company that patented the new compound under the brand name of Aspirin.
Just like other non-steroid anti-inflammation medicines, including ibuprofen, diclofenac etc., aspirin inhibits the formation of prostaglandins in inflamed tissues, which are responsible for the following symptoms:
Suppressing these compounds makes, theoretically, the aspirin toothache treatment and the symptom relief possible.
No analgesic can fully stop an inflammation process in a tooth. Applying in case of toothache aspirin on tooth is only a temporary measure too. It just aims at relieving acute symptoms. So toothache means an urgent visit to your dentist.
Can Aspirin Toothache Treatment Really Help?
A good analgesic should be able to suppress the formation of only adverse prostaglandins, which are responsible for swelling and inflammation.
In general, analgesics can be categorized into two groups:
Non-selective analgesics. They inhibit the formation of all prostaglandins thus relieving pain.
Selective analgesics. They do not affect benign prostaglandins and cause fewer side effects. They provide a more focused action, which makes their efficiency superior to that of the first group.
Acetylsalicylic acid – based drugs belong to non-selective analgesics. While a good antifebrile remedy, aspirin shows a weak analgesic effect. With toothache, this substance is almost absolutely useless. Given ingesting acetylsalicylic acid can bring highly undesired consequences like damaging the gastrointestinal tract and bronchial spasms, using this remedy for toothache has no sense at all. Along with that, adding certain combined analgesics that contain this compound to your core treatment can bring positive results.
Using aspirin for toothache may have sense only when the inflammatory process is accompanied with fever. Additionally, acetylsalicylic acid should be applied when it is necessary to avoid clotting, as this substance is known to thin the blood effectively.
Possible Side Effects
As aspirin is a rather weak pain killer, it should be used only with mild pains, in which situation, however, no anti-inflammatory remedy is usually needed at all. Nevertheless, aspirin remains a very popular drug. Remember though that the overdose can result in numerous side effects, including: