I have a toothache. What is the best pain medication for it?
I have found that many patients self-medicate themselves with some old antibiotic they find laying around their medicine cabinet. Although many of them find some relief from doing so, it is strongly recommended to not do this for multiple reasons. For one, antibiotics are not pain medications. Secondly, and more importantly, specific antibiotics are used to treat specific types of bacteria. Using the wrong antibiotic and taking the incorrect dose/course may contribute to antibiotic resistance. Used with the right dosage, the best short-term over-the-counter medication for dental pain is undoubtedly Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). It is always best to check with your physician or dentist before using Ibuprofen, especially if you are on “blood thinners” or have kidney problems.