Anbesol and Orajel are the two main local anesthetic numbing medications used to alleviate toothache pain. If you have a toothache, these two topical products can go a long way in helping you cope with and manage your condition.
But, which one should you pick between the two to treat your toothache? Is anbesol better than orajel? Or, is Orajel the better option? Which one works best? Are there any negative side effects associated with either?
These are some of the questions that might be in your head right now if you’re considering these two topical anesthetics and we are going to answer them here.
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These toothache pain relievers can have similarities as well as differences. Firstly, anbesol and orajel contain benzocaine as the main ingredient. So they are benzocaine topical medications that work by blocking nerves that convey pain sensations to the brain. Both are available in a variety of different forms, including liquid and gel; and there are variants for children and adults, and in different strengths. Both medicines are also associated with side effects including common and serious, rare side effects.
Here are more facts about each of them.
Anbesol for Toothache Facts:
- Offers effective treatment for toothache pain, teething pain, and mouth ulcers
- Comes in gel and liquid form as well as patches
- Can contain benzocaine, benzocaine/povidone-iodine/phenol, or benzocaine/phenol as the active ingredient(s)
- The drug is available over the counter
Orajel for Toothache Facts:
- Helps relieve toothache pain, mouth ulcers, teething pain, teething, and drooling
- Can contain benzocaine, benzocaine/allantoin, carbamide peroxide, or zinc chloride/benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient(s)
- The drug is available in gel and solution form
- Orajel is available as over the counter medicine
Common side effects of Anbesol and Orajel:
- Mild stinging, burning or itchy feeling at the application site
- Tenderness or redness of gums (at the application site)
- Slight swelling
Serious Side Effects of Anbesol and Orajel:
- Lack of energy
- Shortness of breath
- Severe headache
- Bluish, paling, or grayish coloring of the skin, lips, or fingernails
- Fast heart rate
These are symptoms of a condition known as methemoglobinemia, a life-threatening condition that is characterized as a significant reduction in the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Other serious side effects of overdosing on Anbesol and Orajel include:
- Severe burning, stinging, tingling of gums (at the application site)
- Severe allergic reaction, which may include: swelling of the gums, throat, tongue, lips or face
- Severe irritation or redness
- Signs of infection like oozing or blistering
If you observe or suspect you have any of these symptoms when using either of these medications to numb pain, stop using the medication and get emergency medical help right away.
It’s also not recommendable to use these medications to treat toothache pain if you’ve had methemoglobinemia or its symptoms before. Make sure you use only the recommended amount of the drug, as overdosing of topical numbing medications can lead to these life-threatening side effects. These benzocaine topical products are absorbed through the gums/skin into the blood. If you use too much of the drug, it’s absorbed directly into the system causing these negative side effects.
Additionally, it is wise to seek the advice of your doctor before using any of these benzocaine topical products, particularly if you have or have ever had:
- Heart disease
- Breathing disorder
- Genetic enzyme deficiency, or if you smoke or are pregnant
Anbesol vs Orajel: Which One Should You Choose?
Now that you’ve learned basic facts about these medications, which one should you pick? how long does orajel last?
It’s worth noting that these two medications are not much different from each other. They contain the same basic ingredient – benzocaine. But some users have reported different levels of effectiveness and speed of action. Others swear that the two are essentially the same.
Nonetheless, orajel is generally considered the stronger and faster-acting of the two; and many reviews concur with this fact. When you apply anbesol on the affected tooth and area of the gums, you’ll definitely feel a degree of relief after a minute or two. The numbing feeling feels like the one you usually get when you visit your dentist office and he numbs your teeth before a procedure. But the feeling of numbness won’t stay for very long, and many users have confessed to being forced to reapply the gel or liquid in order to keep tooth pain at bay. In fact, according to most reviews, online many users found that the entire bottle of the drug gets finished after only a few days. And even then, each application of the drug never managed to get rid of all the pain. Actually, anbesol was not of much help to those individuals who used it to try to manage severe tooth pain.
However, on the other hand, those who used orajel found it quite effective for all forms of toothache pains. Reviews from actual users online reveal that the drug is more powerful than anbesol when it comes to fighting dental pain. It works faster and provides stronger relief for a longer period of time. By using orajel gel to numb your toothache, you can enjoy more effective and longer-lasting pain relief to help you go about your day and sleep easier when it comes time to rest. So, orajel delivers a higher concentration of tooth pain medicine available over the counter compared to anbesol. The formulation usually comes with menthol, which helps soothe and cool the affected tooth and gum area. It’s easy to apply and provides an instant yet long-lasting relief that you can depend on before you see your dentist.
Toothache pains are some of the most sudden, bothersome and common attacks, usually without warning. The pain can prevent you from eating, talking, walking, and even sleeping. It’s a terrible thing that creates a lot of discomfort among adults and children, alike. And, if you cannot get to your dentist immediately, either anbesol or orajel can be a savior. Both are effective local anesthetics for tooth pain and provide a reliable way to mitigate mild to severe toothache pains. But, orajel seems to be a more reliable option when dealing with severe toothache pain.