My friend posted something on Facebook for me that says you can use Nyquil for toothaches, but it didn’t explain how to use it, how much to use, or how it works. I’ve had a raging toothache for a few days now and I can’t get any relief at all, let alone sleep. I was really hoping Nyquil would cure the toothache and help me get some rest. When I searched online, I found that some people are recommending just dipping a cotton swab in it and wiping it on the tooth, but that did nothing for me. I ended up taking an actual dose of it last night (gosh that stuff is wretched!) and I kind of feel like maybe it helped a little, but not much. Is there a trick I’m missing?
Ah, the Nyquil for a toothache posts must be in circulation again. Let’s dig into this old wives’ tale a bit, shall we?
As explained earlier, acetaminophen is the active pain reliever in Nyquil. That’s what Tylenol is too. Unfortunately, it has no proven effect when used topically. In fact, when the Tylenol brand released its Precise line of topical ointments and patches, they didn’t even bother to include Tylenol/ acetaminophen. They used menthol. Granted, we don’t know what “flavors” are in Nyquil, so they could have tossed some menthol in there too, but even then, it’s not a true pain reliever. It just creates an unusual sensation that takes your mind off pain.
Bottom Line: It doesn’t matter if you swab or swish all night long, topical Nyquil is not going to do anything unless you’re lucky enough to have the placebo effect.
Obviously, you shouldn’t take medicine for off-label use. However, if you did take Nyquil for a toothache, and you ingested it, the acetaminophen might help with specific types of pain, particularly those NOT caused by inflammation, which means it won’t help most of the time. That said, it might make you drowsy enough to sleep despite the pain and, if you’ve got sinus problems contributing to your toothache, it could help relieve some of that.
At the end of the day, the best course of action is to be seen by your dentist ASAP. If you’re looking for a “cure” at home while you wait for your appointment, check out the previous blog here about essential oils that may help. None of them will fix your underlying problem, but if you feel better using what you can at home while waiting for your appointment, they should be safe—way safer than taking Nyquil or trying other obscure home remedies, that’s for sure! Best of luck to you.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin, a provider of same-day emergency dental appointments in Elgin, IL.