What is Dental Numbing Gel?
A dental numbing gel is used to alleviate pain and discomfort on contact. Most over the counter oral gels contain benzocaine or phenol. Benzocaine will numb the area and reduce the amount of pain you feel. The effect of the benzocaine only last temporarily and should not be used to manage dental pain long-term.
Some gel formulations include soothing ingredients in addition to numbing medications, like menthol or astringents that work together to relieve painful symptoms.
The numbing gel is available over the counter at most pharmacies and big box stores. Orajel and Anbesol are the common brands, but it is also available in generic form. They are available in different strengths and come in dosages for babies, children, and adults.
The ingredients in the two most available over the counter numbing gels, Anbesol and Orajel are very similar. They differ in packaging and specific concentrations of ingredients but essentially perform the same way. The flavor of the gels may differ, so you may prefer one brand over the other. The costs for both of these brands are also similar.
What Causes Mouth Pain?
Pain in the mouth can be caused by many different dental health problems. When pain strikes, it can be debilitating. Pain can be caused by tooth decay, an infection, or a tooth fracture. It can also occur after undergoing a dental treatment temporarily. Pain results from irritation of the gum tissue or from the nerve of a tooth.
When you experience a toothache or other discomfort in the mouth, an appointment with a dentist to evaluate the problem will be necessary. However, sometimes pain occurs at night or when you are away from home and unable to get to the dentist. When you cannot see a dentist right away, a dental numbing gel can ease the pain temporarily.
Some oral health conditions can be chronic and cause discomfort and pain from time to time. A numbing gel will help relieve discomfort during flare-ups. Some of these issues include canker sores, cold sores from a recurrent herpes virus, and dry mouth.
Sometimes the cheek or inside of the lips are bitten by accident. For nonserious injuries, over the counter numbing gels can help.
Babies and toddlers typically experience discomfort and pain when their teeth start to come in. If your child is expressing distress over teething, numbing gels made for babies and children can relieve their discomfort temporarily. Always follow the dosage instructions and consult with your child’s physician or dentist for specific instructions.
When Should You Use Dental Numbing Gel?
When you are experiencing pain due to a tooth fracture or cavity, a numbing gel can be used to help eliminate discomfort. However, an oral gel is only a temporary fix for pain caused by decay or other dental problems. A toothache can indicate a serious problem with the tooth. Tooth pain can be indicative of an infection. You should arrange an appointment with a dental health professional as soon as possible in order to find out why you are experiencing pain.
If you wear dentures, you have probably experienced irritation on the underlying gum tissue at some point. An oral gel can help soothe the affected area. Over time, dentures may not fit as well as they used to due to changing bone structure. When dentures start to become loose, they can rub up against the bone and gum when eating or talking, causing pain. A dentist should be consulted to ensure a proper fit for your dentures and prevent further irritation.
When tooth pain is left untreated, decay and infection can spread to the surrounding teeth and tissues. Infections in the mouth can cause tissue loss and eat away at the jaw bone if they are not treated. Metrodent Dental Health Plan works with a variety of dentists in the New York Metropolitan area. Metrodent can help you find a dentist so that your tooth or mouth pain can be treated quickly and effectively.
Your dentist will evaluate the cause of the pain you are experiencing and recommend the appropriate treatment. Some common dental treatments that may be necessary when you are experiencing pain include:
- Dental X-rays
- Placing a filling
- Root canal
- Extraction of the tooth
- Placing a Dental Crown
- and treatment with antibiotics for infection
Sometimes, the estimated cost of dental care can be overwhelming. Depending on what is causing you pain, the treatment costs can skyrocket into the thousands if you do not have proper dental insurance. Metrodent Dental Plan offers reasonable, affordable rates for dental procedures and treatments so that you do not have to risk your health by waiting for treatment.
Over the counter dental numbing gel can range in cost from $5 to $25. The cost depends on the formulation and size of the medication.
Oral gels can only be used to temporarily help the pain and discomfort caused by tooth decay, infections, injuries, or irritations. They will not help treat the underlying cause of the pain and discomfort. When injuries or pain occurs at night or when you are unable to go to a dentist, a numbing gel can help. You should never put off seeing a dentist for any length of time because the issue will only become worse. While cost is always a factor in any decision, it should not prevent you from getting the treatment you need.
This article was reviewed and approved by a board certified dentist.