Direct From The Dentist: Chewing Aspirin Can Destroy Your Teeth

Aspirin is sold over-the-counter and is extremely versatile, helping mitigate conditions like headache, pain, fever and swelling. It’s little wonder why it’s a popular remedy.

If you have a toothache, aspirin can help alleviate the pain. Do not, however, chew the aspirin or place a crushed aspirin on the tooth.

There’s a common myth that chewing or sucking aspirin—or pulverizing it and using it as a topical salve—gets to the heart of dental pain, yielding fast relief right where you need it. In fact, several studies indicate that chewing aspirin can cause significant damage to your teeth.

The full name for aspirin, Acetylsalicylic Acid, explains its potentially corrosive effects. It contains acid as strong as the stomach acid that pains you during heartburn, whether the bile is churning in your gut or rising into your throat and mouth.

When aspirin comes into direct contact with your teeth, it may attack the enamel. If this exposure is repeated serious erosion can occur, causing dental sensitivity or damage that needs to be treated by your dentist. Placing aspirin directly on an affected tooth can also burn the soft tissue on the adjacent cheek and gums, adding pain to pain.

When you take aspirin for a toothache or other malady, the best course of action is to swallow it whole with water. It’ll ensure that the painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties of the medicine get into your bloodstream without hurting your teeth.

An Exception To The Rule

Some people take aspirin daily to ward off heart attack, stroke or colon cancer, generally on the advice of a doctor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that preventative aspirin use be limited to high-risk individuals between age 50 and 69.

Regular aspirin users should take their tablets whole with water, unless they’re among the minority of people who are constitutionally unable to swallow pills. It’s said, however, that every rule has an exception and the injunction against chewing aspirin is no different.

If you fear you’re having a heart attack, take a standard dose of aspirin to minimize potentially deadly blood clotting. And by all means, chew the aspirin, which will help it work twice as fast. Time is of the element when it comes to cardiac emergencies, so you should also get yourself to a hospital.

Get Expert Advice

If you’re experiencing a toothache, consult with Dr. Taylor, who can determine whether your pain is caused by a dental infection or decayed nerve. Your dentist may say you need a root canal or other dental procedure, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. The point, however, is to have a professional treat the problem, not just the pain.

If your enamel is already damaged, whether from acid exposure or general wear and tear, you may also be helped by cosmetic dentist, Dr. Zachary Taylor of Taylor Cosmetic Dental.

Your teeth are so important. If you want “to protect and to serve” your dental health, swallow aspirin whole instead of chewing, and get yourself to the dentist.

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