Tooth pain affects a large number of people every year. In the U.S., just under 30% of nearly 15,000 people who took part in a 2015 online survey reported that they had suffered some sort of tooth or oral pain in the 12 months prior, according to Statista.
The best thing someone can do if they experience tooth pain is to visit the dentist. This is because tooth pain can be a symptom of a number dental conditions, some more serious than others. The problem is that getting a dental appointment can take time, which is bad news if the tooth pain is causing particular discomfort. Over-the-counter medicines can help provide temporary pain relief until a dentist is able to look at the problem properly. Orajel is a product line produced by Church and Dwight which aims to do just this. Access the website by clicking here.
There are currently nine Orajel products that relieve tooth and denture pain. The application of each of them varies and may come in the form of a gel, cream, swab, or mouthwash. With the exception of the mouthwash, all Orajel products have one thing in common: they contain the active ingredient benzocaine. The concentration of benzocaine in the Orajel product varies according to the severity of the pain it aims to treat. For a mild-to-moderate toothache, the regular Orajel contains 10% benzocaine, while its maximum-strength product for more severe pain contains 20% benzocaine.
Benzocaine is a type of local anesthetic. It works by blocking the activity of nerves which are usually responsible for transmitting pain signals to the central nervous system. This is why a sore tooth may stop hurting when benzocaine is applied. More information on anesthesia can be found by clicking here.
In recent years, some attention has turned to potentially severe side effects brought on by topical (applied directly to the skin/inside of the mouth) benzocaine. It is associated with a risk of methemoglobinemia, a serious blood condition in which red blood cells become unable to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms can include pale, grey or blue skin (as well as lips and nails), shortness of breath, tiredness, confusion, and a change in heart rate. Children are particularly at risk, especially if too much benzocaine is absorbed. More information of methemoglobinemia and benzocaine can be found by clicking here.
Other side effects of Orajel may include skin redness and stinging at the site of application. Tell a doctor if this persists. Doctors should also be consulted before a child under the age of two is given Orajel. Orajel should be applied directly as indicated. Risks associated with benzocaine application can be found by clicking here.
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