Busting Wives Tales: Crushed Aspirin for a Toothache

Aspirin is a Non-Steroirdal Anti-Inflammatory or NSAID, commonly used for everyday aches and pains. Some people are also prescribed this drug to manage the risk of heart attack. So besides taking this over-the-counter drug for cardiovascular reasons, it might make sense to take it for a toothache.

For some reason the myth of crushing up Aspirin, then rubbing the powder on and around the tooth has hung around for too long. What can happen if you rub crushed Aspirin on a toothache is a chemical burn on the gums around the tooth.

If you do allow the crushed Aspirin to remain on the gums, you will notice something similar to the lesion below with some pain to boot. The reaction will be similar to a sunburn on the outside of you skin, and more discomfort will probably result.

Chemical Burn from Crushed Aspirin (Neville et al., 2003)

Discontinuation of the crushed Aspirin and time is the only method of healing for these burns.

A proven method for reduction of pain if you are experiencing a toothache is the combination of Tylenol and Ibuprofen, along with getting in to see your dentist as soon as possible to take care of the sour tooth. So if you want to avoid a toothache, and a chemical burn, see your dentist before the toothache begins and don’t crush up the Aspirin.


Neville, B. W., Damm, D. D., & White, D. K. (2003). Color atlas of clinical oral pathology. BC Decker. 


The Author of this post does not assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, malpractice, negligence, or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, instructions or ideas contained. The foregoing parties will not be liable for any direct, special, indirect, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages as a result of the reader’s use of this information.

One response to “Busting Wives Tales: Crushed Aspirin for a Toothache”

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