Ibuprofen or paracetamol
Codeine based painkillers
1 In vast majority of the cases, specially with severe pains, most painkillers has a limited or no effect at all in controlling the pain.
2 Pain killers usually have very limited effect when there is build of pressure in the tissue due to inflammation (swelling) or pus collection as the result of an infection. Active treatment is needed to drain the tooth, such as pulp extirpation/root canal treatment or draining any pus formation from the tissues around the tooth.
3 Pain killers are usually effective in very early stages of pain when it is not severe. This should act as an alarm bell to seek attention as soon as possible before the pain becomes too severe.
What is the best pain killer for managing a toothache?
The list of the most commonly used over- counter available medications in the U.K. can be listed as;
1 Anti inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. The maximum daily dose is 400mg every 8 hours. They are good against pain that are caused by inflammation such as pulpitis (when feeling a throbbing pain inside a tooth)
2 Paracetamol is another easily available form of painkillers and can be effective in managing mild pain until you can see a Dental profession for treatment. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be taken together as they work differently.
3 Codeine based medications such as co-codamol which has both codeine and paracetamol. The dosage varies but usually is 8-500mg which is 8 mg codeine and 500 mg paracetamol. Please be aware it should not be used in combination with paracetamol as there is risk of over dosing.
Does antibiotic takes my toothache away?
Antibiotics are only recommended when there is formation / collection of pus or swelling is present. Pus collection is usually associated with swelling and enlarged lymph nodes of the jaws and the neck. “However antibiotics are not effective nor are they recommended against pains that are caused by inflammation such as pulpitis like a throbbing or severe pain with a tooth”. The best painkillers in these situation is active treatment.