How to Relieve Pain From a Tooth Extraction

Having a tooth extraction can be a daunting experience, and the pain that follows can be quite uncomfortable. It’s essential to understand how to relieve pain effectively and promote a faster healing process. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various techniques and remedies to alleviate the discomfort associated with tooth extractions. Whether you’re preparing for a tooth extraction or have just undergone the procedure, this article will provide you with valuable insights to make the recovery process smoother.

Effective Medications for Tooth Extraction Pain Relief

Experiencing pain after a tooth extraction is normal, but there are several methods you can employ to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Let’s explore some effective techniques:

1. Cold Compress or Ice Pack

Description: Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected side of the face can help reduce swelling and numb the pain.

How to Use: Wrap an ice pack in a thin cloth and apply it to the face for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off.

2. Salt Water Rinse

Description: Salt has natural disinfecting properties and can promote healing.

How to Use: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gently swish around the mouth for about 30 seconds and spit. Avoid doing this in the first 24 hours post-extraction.

3. Clover Oil

Description: Known for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Use: Apply a small amount to a cotton ball and gently dab it onto the affected area. Avoid doing this on the day of the extraction.

4. Warm (Not Hot) Compress

Description: Helpful for relieving pain after the initial swelling has gone down.

How to Use: Apply a warm compress for about 20 minutes at a time.

5. Herbal Teas

Description: Certain herbal teas, like chamomile, have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Use: Brew a cup, allow it to cool slightly, and then use it as a rinse or just drink it.

6. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Description: While not a “natural” remedy, it can be effective and can be used in conjunction with natural methods.

How to Use: Follow the dosing instructions on the label, and avoid aspirin as it can increase bleeding.

7. Avoiding Certain Foods

Description: Steering clear of hot, spicy, crunchy, or hard foods that can irritate the extraction site.

How to Use: Opt for soft foods like soup (not too hot), yogurt, pudding, etc., in the days following the extraction.

8. Rest and Elevation

Description: Resting and keeping the head elevated can reduce blood flow to the extraction site, reducing swelling and pain.

How to Use: Prop up with pillows and try to rest for the first 24 hours post-extraction.

10. Hydration

Description: Staying hydrated can promote healing, but avoid using a straw as the sucking motion can disrupt the blood clot.

How to Use: Sip water regularly throughout the day.

Effective Medications for Tooth Extraction Pain Relief

After a tooth extraction, it’s not uncommon to experience pain or discomfort. Here’s a list of effective medications for tooth extraction pain relief:

1. Over-the-counter (OTC) Pain Relievers

Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin)

Description: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that provides both pain relief and reduction in inflammation.

Usage: It’s important to follow dosing instructions and avoid exceeding the recommended dose. It’s usually taken every 4-6 hours as needed.

Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)

Description: Effective for pain relief and fever reduction.

Usage: It’s vital not to exceed the recommended dose and be cautious if consuming other medications containing acetaminophen to avoid overdose.

2. Prescription Pain Relievers

Naproxen (e.g., Aleve, Naprosyn)

Description: A stronger NSAID for pain and inflammation.

Usage: Prescribed for more intense pain and taken as directed.


Description: A narcotic-like pain reliever.

Usage: Used for moderate to severe pain. It’s essential to follow the prescribed dose to avoid potential side effects.

Codeine or Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen (e.g., Vicodin, Norco)

Description: Opioid analgesics that are often combined with other pain relievers like acetaminophen.

Usage: Used for severe pain and should be taken as prescribed and for the shortest duration possible due to the risk of addiction.

Oxycodone-Acetaminophen (e.g., Percocet)

Description: Another opioid analgesic combined with acetaminophen.

Usage: Intended for severe pain. Use should be minimized due to addiction potential.

3. Topical Oral Anesthetics

Benzocaine (e.g., Orajel)

Description: A local anesthetic that numbs the area it’s applied to.

Usage: This can be applied directly to the gums or inner cheek for temporary relief.

4. Medications to Reduce Swelling


Description: Often prescribed in low doses after surgery to reduce inflammation.

Usage: Taken as prescribed, often for a short duration.


Experiencing pain after a tooth extraction is a common occurrence, but with proper care and pain management techniques, you can alleviate discomfort and promote a faster healing process. Remember to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your dentist, practice good oral hygiene, and take steps to minimize swelling and irritation. If you have any concerns or experience severe pain, do not hesitate to reach out to your dentist for professional guidance. By implementing the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can effectively relieve pain from a tooth extraction and ensure a smoother recovery.

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