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Will Prednisone Help A Toothache?

A toothache can be so excruciating that it can ruin your day. Wanting a quick fix is natural when you’re in that much pain.

Prednisone might come to mind as a potential cure – it’s a medication used to treat many inflammation-related issues.

In this article, I’ll check if prednisone is a good option for dealing with a toothache and look at other ways to ease the pain.

A toothache is usually a sign of inflammation or an infection in the tooth or gum region.

The pain can be mild to severe, making eating, sleeping, or focusing difficult.

When looking for something to help, it’s important to understand how prednisone works and why it’s used.

What is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that works similarly to cortisol, a hormone your body naturally produces.

It helps to calm your immune system and reduce inflammation caused by allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disorders.

It’s also used to treat arthritis, blood disorders, breathing problems, severe allergies, skin diseases, cancer, eye problems, and immune system disorders.

Prednisone is part of a group of drugs called corticosteroids, which lower your immune system’s reaction to different illnesses to reduce symptoms like swelling and allergic reactions.

How does Prednisone Work?

Prednisone binds to specific cell receptors and influences protein production that regulates inflammation and immune responses.

Prednisone acts like cortisol, the hormone produced by our adrenal glands.

When you take it orally or through other means, it enters your body and attaches to cell receptors.

This causes changes to the cells and mainly decreases inflammation and immune responses. Prednisone stops the production of inflammatory things like prostaglandins and cytokines.

It also stops immune cells from going to the site of inflammation.

Plus, it weakens the immune system, which is helpful for autoimmune disorders when the immune system attacks healthy tissues.

Prednisone can also stop the release of inflammatory substances, thereby reducing swelling, redness, and pain associated with inflammation.

Prednisone for Toothaches: Does It Help?

Inflammation and Pain Relief

While prednisone can effectively reduce inflammation in many body parts, its usefulness in treating toothaches is limited.

Infections or dental issues commonly cause toothaches, and while inflammation can contribute to the pain, it is not the primary cause.

Therefore, prednisone may provide minimal relief in toothache cases.

Dosage and Duration

If a healthcare professional does prescribe prednisone for a toothache, the dosage and duration of treatment will depend on the individual case.

Typically, prednisone is prescribed for short periods at higher doses to address inflammation quickly.

However, dental issues may require specific dental interventions rather than relying solely on prednisone.

Potential Side Effects

Prednisone, like any medication, can have side effects. These can include increased blood pressure, weight gain, mood changes, insomnia, and an increased risk of infections.

Additionally, prolonged prednisone use can lead to more serious side effects such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and adrenal suppression.

It is crucial to consult a dentist before considering prednisone for a toothache or any condition.

Alternatives to Prednisone for Toothaches

When dealing with a toothache, several alternatives may provide relief without the potential risks associated with prednisone. Here are some options to consider:

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help ease toothache pain by reducing swelling and giving some relief.

These medications are often readily available and effectively manage mild to moderate toothache pain.


If you have tooth pain, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help control the infection. While they can help ease the pain, antibiotics alone won’t fix the problem.

You’ll need a root canal, extraction, or another procedure to deal with the cause. The doctor might suggest antibiotics with that, so be sure to take them as directed.

Don’t try to self-medicate; only a professional can figure out what’s going on exactly and how to treat it.

Topical Anesthetics

Using a topical anesthetic can give you some temporary relief from tooth pain. They numb the area and reduce discomfort.

You can find topical anesthetics like gels, ointments, liquids, or sprays.

They usually contain an active ingredient like benzocaine, lidocaine, or tetracaine which blocks nerve signals around the area.

To use one, wash your hands first, then apply a small amount to the tooth or gums and massage it.

After a few seconds, wipe off any excess with a tissue, and don’t eat or drink for a while.

These products provide temporary relief and don’t fix any underlying issues, so it’s best to see a dentist if the pain persists.

Don’t overuse topical anesthetics either; if you’re unsure, just ask your dentist for advice.

Home Remedies

Several home remedies can help tooth pain until you can see a dentist.

All options include saltwater rinses, clove oil, cold compress, over-the-counter pain relievers, peppermint tea bags, garlic, and hydrogen peroxide rinses.

The saltwater rinse can reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, while clove oil has numbing properties. Cold compresses can numb the area and reduce swelling.

Painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help take the edge off aches and soreness. Peppermint tea bags can provide temporary relief.

Crushing garlic can create a paste that can reduce pain and infection.

You can mix hydrogen peroxide with water to make a mouthwash to help eliminate germs and freshen your breath.

When to Seek Dental Care?

While temporary measures and pain relief options are available, seeking professional dental care for persistent or severe toothaches is crucial.

Dental issues often require specific treatments such as root canals, extractions, or other interventions that address the underlying cause of the pain.

Ignoring dental problems can lead to further complications and worsen the pain over time.


Prednisone might help with some inflammatory conditions but won’t do much for toothaches.

To get rid of your toothache, determine what’s causing it and treat it. It’s best to check in with a dentist or doctor to decide the best action plan.


Can prednisone completely cure a toothache?

No, prednisone cannot cure a toothache as it primarily targets inflammation rather than the underlying cause. Dental intervention is often necessary for long-term relief.

Can I take over-the-counter pain relievers with prednisone?

It’s cool to take OTC painkillers like Tylenol or Advil while taking prednisone. They can help with pain and swelling, but it’s best to check with your doc or pharmacist before taking any new meds.

Just follow the instructions and watch out for any side effects or interactions that could happen when you mix them.

NSAIDs can upset your stomach, so taking them with food is better. Don’t forget to talk to the dentist if you’re unsure about anything!

Are there any natural remedies for toothache relief?

Several natural remedies, such as rinsing with warm salt water or applying clove oil, may offer temporary relief. However, these remedies should not replace professional dental care.

How long should I wait before seeking dental care for a toothache?

It’s recommended to seek dental care promptly for persistent or severe toothaches. Ignoring dental issues can lead to further complications and worsen the pain.

What can a dentist do to treat a toothache?

A dentist can figure out what’s causing a toothache by taking a look and doing an exam.

Depending on what they find, the dentist might clean your teeth and gums, fill in if there’s decay, do a root canal if there’s an infection or damage, or remove the tooth if needed.

The treatment depends on the dentist’s opinion and the situation.

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Dr. Ahtsham

I am a dentist. I am working hard to keep this blog updated for those suffering from tooth pain. It is my goal to make this blog the source for all information regarding tooth pain. Feel free to contact me if you are suffering from toothache.

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