You can’t cure a toothache by putting an aspirin on it. In fact, if you hold aspirin against a tooth long enough, it can damage your gums and other soft tissues inside of your mouth.
Aspirin is able to damage the tissues in your mouth because it is an acid – acetylsalicylic acid to be exact. Like most acids, it will damage your bodily tissues if you give it enough time. If you’ve ever used an acidic bathroom cleaner without gloves on, you probably discovered that acids can burn your skin.
What an Aspirin Burn Looks Like
An aspirin burn turns your gums and cheek tissue to a charred-white color. Aspirin burns can also be quite painful. It is literally a burn inside of your mouth!
If you’re curious to see what an aspirin burn looks like, here’s a picture in an oral pathology book on Google Books and here’s another picture of an aspirin burn.
Don’t Put Aspirin Directly On a Toothache
If you need pain relief from your toothache, it is best to go to your dentist. If you can remove the cause of your toothache, you can become pain-free and most likely keep your teeth and gums in a healthy state.
One of the most interesting classes I’ve taken in dental school was called Oral Pathology. The book we used, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology had an interesting quote in it regarding dental home remedies such as placing aspirin on a toothache:
Patients often can be their own worst enemies. The array of chemicals that have been placed within the mouth in an attempt to resolve oral problems is amazing. Aspirin, sodium perborate, hydrogen peroxide, gasoline, turpentine, rubbing alcohol, and battery acid are just a few of the more interesting examples.
It’s just not a good idea to apply aspirin to a tooth that hurts. Even just chewing aspirin has been shown to hurt the teeth, you can read more about that here.
Swallow Aspirin, Don’t Apply It Topically
If you can’t make it to a dentist and you need some relief from your toothache then you can swallow some aspirin or your painkiller of choice.
Remember that this route will only provide temporary relief and it will not solve the underlying cause of the toothache (most likely, the bacteria that live in your mouth.)
Have you ever used an aspirin tablet to relieve a toothache? If you have any questions or comments about this article or toothaches in general, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!