Anbesol vs Orajel

Treating Toothache

Toothache is a dental infection usually caused due the bacterial infection that might have entered into the gums or even into deep bones. Toothache cannot be treated by just applying numbing agent, instead the cause has to be treated.

A toothache is a pain in or around the around the tooth which may be caused by the following reason. They are:

  • tooth decay
  • a damaged filling
  • surgery
  • tooth fracture
  • infected gums
  • abscessed tooth
  • Repetitive motions like chewing gum or grinding teeth

Toothache can be determined by its symptoms they are:

  • Tooth pain:  Pain differs from patient to patient and even depends on the condition in some patients the pain may be sharp, throbbing, constant or unbearable. While, in some cases, pain results only when pressure is applied to it.
  • Swelling around the teeth: Due to some kind of infection the gums holding around the teeth get swollen and this may cause pain .
  • Fever or headache,
  • Foul tasting drainage from the infected tooth: Sometimes due to infection around the teeth it gets swollen and filled by puss which get drained inside the mouth and that has foul taste.

Anbesol and orajel for the treatment of toothache

Anbesol gel regular strength

Anbesol and orajel both have been prescribed for the treatment of toothache. This products contains benzocaine as its active ingredient for the treatment of toothache. Benzocaine belongs to the local anesthetic class of drug. This is most commonly used as a topical pain reliever or in cough drops.  It is mostly used in many over the counter local anesthetic ointments such as products for oral ulcers.

Drug features:


Drug featuresAnbesolOrajel
Generic nameBenzocaineBenzocaine
Ingredientsbenzocaine,  benzocaine/phenol,
benzocaine/zinc chloride/benzalkoniumchloride, benzocaine/allantoin, benzocaine,carbamide peroxide
Used forTeething, drooling, Teething pain, Teething, Mouth ulcers
Different strengths:regular & maximumsevere,maximum and regular
Different forms:Gel,
liquid: 6.3%
Packet: 6.3%-0.5%
Gel 7.5%, 10%, 20%, 20%-0.1%-0.02%
solution: 10%

How does the they work?

The drug decrease the neuronal membrane permeability to sodium ions which in turn blocks initiation and conduction of nerve impulses. Decreased permeability of nerve impulse reversibly stabilizes the membrane and also inhibits depolarization. This causes failure of action potential and which further leads to blockage of conduction.

The drug is highly absorbed at the mucous membrane and traumatized skin. Absorption is poor at the places where there is intact skin.

In summary it works by blocking nerve signals in your body and helps to get relief from the  following like it reduce pain, vaginal or rectal irritation, sore throat, sunburn, teething pain, and many other minor pain on a surface of the body.

Facts about Anbesol

It is an brand name of drug Benzocaine that is used as local anesthetic and it is approved for its use in teething and pain and it is mostly mentioned with this indication.

  • Used for the treatment of:

teething, Pain, Mouth ulcers,tooth pain and teething pain.

  • what forms and dosage anbesol is available:

Gel, liquid 6.3% and patches 6.3%-o.5%

  • Active Ingredient in Anbesol:

benzocaine/phenol, benzocaine/povidone-iodine/phenol, benzocaine.

  • Where we can get Anbesol from:

It is available as OTC (over the counter) products.

Facts about Orajel

Orajel triple medicated instant relief

It is brand name for the drug benzocaine same as that is contained by Anbesol. As earlier discussed it works by blocking the nerve impulses and thus providing relief from the pain. It is approved for its use for Teething and pain.

  • used for the treatment of:

Teething, Drooling, Tooth pain, teething pain, mouth ulcers.

  • Active ingredient of Orajel:

Benzocaine, zinc chloride/benzalkonium chloride, benzocaine/allantoin, carbamide peroide.

  • What forms and dosages are available:

Gel:7.5%, 10%, 20%, 20%-0.01%-0.02%

solution: 10%

It is available as over the counter products.

Side effects of Anbesol and Orajel:

  • Headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting,
  • swelling,
  • redness or irritation in or around the tooth,
  • worsening of the pain

If condition is worsened urgently seek medical help.

Drug interaction of Anbesol and orajel

Anbesol                                                   Orajel

  • lidocaine                                                                                 lidocaine
  • prilocaine                                                                                prilocaine
  • lidocaine/prilocaine                                                           lidocaine/epinephrine
  • sodium nitrite                                                                       sodium nitrite
  • sodium thiosulfate                                                               sodium thiosulfate

Cost and Insurance

Orajel and Anbesol both are name brand drugs and hence are expensive than the generic ones. These are not prescription drugs and are available as over the counter drug. This are not covered by any of the insurances that are available in the healthcare market.

Can you take hydrocodone for severe tooth pain?
Is it OK to take xanax and suboxone together?