So your dentist is out on a vacation till Monday but it’s only Saturday today and your tooth pain is making your crazy. Well, easy there.

Over-the-counter topical pain relievers like Anbesol and Orajel are clinically proven to deliver quick relief from unbearable toothache without any terrible side effects.

Both Anbesol and Orajel are brand names for Benzocaine, a local anesthetic frequently used for immense toothache, teething, gum inflammation, sore throat, denture irritation, mouth ulcer, and many other dental problems.

It’s quite natural to be caught up in the Anbesol vs Orajel dilemma if you are hearing about this medication for the first time. To put your mind (and mouth) at ease, I am going to break down all the essential details to help you make an informed decision.

Don’t worry, I hate jargons just as much as you do. Hence, I am going to explain the critical points of consideration in a simple and easy-to-follow way, without sparing any important detail.

Orajel Vs Anbesol Comparison

FeatureAnbesol Pain ReliefOrajel 3X Sores Gel
Work Instant Instant
Weight12 ml11.9 ml
Max Use7 Days7 Days
Do not useUnder age 2Under age 2
AvoidEye contactAllergy
Price Check Price` Check Price

Orajel Vs Anbesol: Here Are The Key Differences to Remember

I’ll start by elucidating on the key differences between Anbesol and Orajel. I’m sure a lot of you might think that these two are basically the same. The information isn’t completely wrong, though.

The core ingredient used in both products is Benzocaine. Both are available over-the-counter and are considered to be two of the best medicines available today for rapid relief from toothache.

Here’s how these two Benzocaine-based products work on our achey-breaky teeth:

Tooth pain, or any type of pain (except the kind you felt when the Green Bay Packers lost in 2011) is caused by the stimulation of our nerve endings. During the stimulation, sodium ions enter our neurons and trigger depolarization. Long story short, it hurts.

Benzocaine reduces the neuron membrane’s ability to absorb sodium ions which, in turn, decreases the nerve impulses. This process is actually quite complex but we can save the physiology lessons for another day.

For now, all you need to know is that Benzocaine prevents the neurons from sending “go nuts” signals to the nerves of our central nervous system. This numbs the excruciating pain in the affected area.

Enough science talks. Now, I’ll come to the point. Here are some of the significant between Anbesol and Orajel:

  • Active Ingredients

The complete list of ingredients in Anbesol is as follows: benzocaine, benzocaine/povidone-iodine/phenol, benzocaine/phenol.

Orajel, in all forms, includes benzocaine/zinc chloride/benzalkonium chloride, benzocaine/allantoin, benzocaine, carbamide peroxide.

  • Forms and Strengths

The concentration of Benzocaine is considerably higher in Orajel which makes it work faster on several types of dental pains including gum infection, mouth ulcer, toothache due to cavity, tooth abscess, high bite, bruised tooth, and extreme teeth sensitivity.

Orajel is the stuff most dentists use as a local anesthetic before giving a giant painkiller shot.

Orajel is available in two forms: gel (7.5%, 10%, 20%, 20%-0.1%-0.02%) and solution (10%).

On the other hand, Anbesol is available in gel and liquid forms in 6.3% to 20% concentrations.

You can get OTC Anbesol either in Regular or Maximum strength, whereas Orajel is available in Regular, Maximum and Severe strengths.

If you are treating a mild pain or irritation, Anbesol’s low dosage would be a safer option, especially for young individuals. However, Orajel is more potent and therefore, can nuke even the most acute toothaches in minutes.

  • Time Taken to Show Results

Rubbing a tiny blob of Orajel can provide rapid relief from mind-numbing toothache in just a few seconds and the results usually last an entire night. It will calm the tattered nerves inside your gum and let you peacefully sleep through the night.

In most cases, frequent re-application is not required. It is not just the higher concentration of medicines that make it such an effective tooth pain killer. Orajel also contains menthol whose cooling action releases a soothing, refreshing sensation in your mouth.

Anbesol can take up to 5 minutes to take effect and works best on mild toothache only. You might have to re-apply the gel once or twice during the night in severe cases.

Detailed Reviews of the Best Anbesol and Orajel Variants for Toothache and Gum Pain

If you are looking for recommendations, allow me to cut your work in half. Below I have reviewed the two of the most potent Anbesol and Orajel variants you can’t go wrong with:

A Comprehensive Review of Anbesol Pain Relief, Instant, Maximum Strength, Liquid

I prefer the 20% Benzocaine liquid version of Anbesol more than the gel. This remedy is insanely powerful, which is why you should use it only for extreme case scenarios.

Anbesol Pain Relief Liquid

It works on toothache and gum swelling resulting from causes like cavity, tooth abscess, denture irritation, misaligned braces, fake teeth, broken teeth, fever blisters, and acute pain felt after an oral surgery.

You need to apply only a small amount by soaking a q-tip in the solution. Even you don’t have a q-tip, just use your (clean) fingertips. The liquid is extremely potent and completely dulls the pain in a minute or two.

The anesthesia effect is so powerful that you won’t be able to feel literally anything in your mouth for at least 20 minutes. If you have never had a local anesthesia before, this could feel a bit weird at first. But you will get used to it. It also leaves a cool feeling in the mouth which helps to further alleviate the inflammation.

For severe pain, you might have to repeat the application after an hour or so. Mild to moderate pain should be under control after just two applications. In that case, leave a gap of at least 3 hours before re-application.

You shouldn’t use this product more than 4 times a day and for more than a week. Also, don’t get any grub for at least an hour from the time of the application.

If the throbbing pain still persists, quit the self-treatment and rush to the dentist. No more excuses.

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Minor Concern

I am not a big fan of the funny taste of this product. Also, you might not be able to talk for some time due to its intense numbing effect. But that’s just a small price to pay for the rapid relief it provides from the horrific pain.

An Honest Review of Orajel 3X Medicated For All Mouth Sores Gel

The active ingredients in the gel version of Orajel are Benzocaine 20%, Benzalkonium chloride 2% along with Zinc chloride .01%. This particular combination of ingredients makes this variant of Orajel one of the most potent OTC numbing agents ever.

Orajel Medicated For All Mouth Sores Gel

This product is specifically formulated for sore mouth, canker sores, blisters on the tongue and discomfort caused by mouth ulcer. Not just that, it works equally well on tooth pain resulting from accidental hard bites and cheek bites.

I absolutely adore the fact that this gel doesn’t burn like other tooth pain relief products. The tingling sensation it makes you feel is actually quite comforting. You will need a very small amount to get the job done and usually, it takes two applications max a day to keep the pain at bay.

Apart from numbing the affected area, it also helps to speed up the healing process. However, this doesn’t mean you can use Orajel as an excuse to dodge the dentist’s appointment. If the cause of your toothache is dental cavity or any form of infection, the pain will relapse after a few weeks.

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Minor Concern

Since it’s a gel, it tends to get washed off easily. Just be careful not to eat or drink anything at least for an hour after application. You might have to reapply after eating to keep the pain away for the rest of the day.

Potential Side Effects

Benzocaine, the core active ingredient in both products has a couple of side effects, just like any other medication ever produced since the beginning of time. The most common side effects associated with Anbesol and Orajel are:

  • Skin irritation, rashes.
  • Burning sensation.
  • Dizziness.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Nausea.
  • Headache.

In the worst-case scenario, applying these solutions could rev up the pain.

However, these negative effects are highly unlikely to show up, unless you overdose on it. Therefore, make sure to use only a tiny amount or as directed on the product packaging. Don’t up the dosage without checking with a doctor. Doing otherwise could have some serious consequences.

Are Anbesol and Orajel Safe for Babies? Know Your Facts Right

FDA has strictly prohibited the use of Benzocaine for children below 2 years. These products are profusely used by many parents to calm the teething pain. In most cases, it does the trick but here’s the catch:

Research says that Benzocaine can cause a rare medical condition called Methemoglobinemia in babies. Higher concentrations of Benzocaine can seriously affect the red blood cells and decrease the level of oxygen in the bloodstream.

The typical symptoms of Methemoglobinemia include blue or pale skin and lips, breathing problem and even seizures.

That’s why you should keep OTC products like this away from kids below two years. Make sure to check the label to find out the appropriate age of use for the particular product you’re using. To counter teething pain, pediatricians recommend using non-frozen teething rings. Gently massaging the gums can also comfort the baby for a while.

Even adults can show symptoms of Methemoglobinemia. If you have already experienced any of the signs mentioned above, do check with your doctor before using this topical medication. Better safe than terribly sorry.

Anbesol vs Orajel Final Showdown: What’s the Best Toothache Relief Among the Two?

In conclusion, both Anbesol and Orajel are equally competent OTC products for an instant and effective relief from severe tooth and gum pain.

However, Orajel scores brownie points for its faster and longer-lasting action, ability to work on different types of oral pain and of course, the refreshing taste in leaves in the mouth. This is primarily because of the higher concentration of Benzocaine in it. Orajel is what you need to reach out for in a nightmarish case of toothache.

However, I won’t recommend Anbesol or Orajel for kids below 2 years unless prescribed by the doctor. I would also remind you that self-therapy is not an alternative to a proper treatment by a certified dentist. These are only meant to provide some temporary relief.

If your symptoms are getting severe, even after using Benzocaine, call the emergency number. Although, I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that. Good luck to you. Hang in there, mate.

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