Can you use Anbesol after tooth extraction? (+3 advantages)

In this article, we will discuss the possible use of Anbesol after tooth extraction. Additionally, we will discuss when you should not use Anbesol after tooth extraction and some alternatives to Anbesol for this condition.

Can you use Anbesol after tooth extraction?

Yes, Anbesol may be used after tooth extraction. Anbesol liquid contains lidocaine hydrochloride (0.9% w/w), chlorocresol (0.1 w/w), and cetylpyridinium chloride (0.02% w/w). Lidocaine numbs the nerve endings, thereby reducing pain and irritation caused by tooth extraction (1).

Chlorocresol and cetylpyridinium chloride are antiseptics and help to kill bacteria (2, 3).  Anbesol liquid can be dropped into the extraction socket several times a day as directed by the dentist for the relief of pain and infection control.

You should irrigate your socket with saline water before dripping 1-2 drops of Anbesol. Do not use Anbesol liquid more than four times a day. Make sure you use Anbesol liquid as directed by your dentist to minimize the occurrence of side effects.

You should also check the expiry date of Anbesol liquid before applying it to the affected area. You may ask your dentist to prescribe you an oral painkiller or antibiotic in case of extreme pain and gum/tooth infection.

How to know if Anbesol is working?

Anbesol begins to work as soon as it touches your gum or cavity. Lidocaine (local anaesthetic) present in Anbesol numbs the nerve endings and gives you instant relief from pain within a few minutes.

Lidocaine numbing effect may last from thirty minutes to three hours depending on the dose applied to the affected area. An overdose of Anbesol may cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, and respiratory failure in rare cases.

Chlorocresol and cetylpyridinium chloride are antiseptic agents that kill the bacteria at the site of tooth extraction. If you feel any symptoms related to infection (fever, swelling, redness in mouth, sensitivity to hot or cold food, and intense toothache) consult your dentist immediately.

When should you not use Anbesol after tooth extraction?

You should discuss your medical history with your dentist so he can conveniently and accurately select medicines for you during and after the tooth extraction. You should not use Anbesol liquid if you have the following conditions:

  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients present in Abnesol liquid, including lidocaine, chlorocresol, cetylpyridinium chloride, and azo dyes amaranth (E123).
  • If you experience side effects after the use of Anbesol, including headache, fever, fainting, the unusual blue colour of fingernails and skin, lethargy, and fast heartbeat.
  • If you have porphyria. Porphyria is a rare disorder that is characterized by abdominal pain, constipation, urine colour change, and skin rashes.
  • If you are already taking other products containing lidocaine.
  • If you have damaged areas or open wounds inside the lining of your mouth. It may cause irritation and unnecessary absorption of active ingredients into the systemic circulation.
  • Certain medical conditions may interfere with the proper working of Anbesol, including cardiovascular disease, infection, and inherited metabolic disorders affecting the red blood cells.

What are the alternatives to Anbesol after tooth extraction?

If you are allergic to Anbesol liquid or have severe side effects, your doctor may prescribe other medications after tooth extraction, including:

Benzocaine topical gel

Benzocaine gel may reduce post-operative stress associated with tooth extraction and dental cavity restoration (4). Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic that numbs the pain in the gums and adjoining areas. You may feel temporary relief from pain.


Painkillers belonging to the class of opioids, such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone may be taken to relieve pain after tooth extraction. However, they are not usually preferred because of the increased risk of sedation and dizziness.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen are often prescribed with acetaminophen (non-opioid analgesic) for the relief of severe pain, especially after wisdom tooth surgery. You may also use indomethacin and naproxen (5).


Sometimes, you may require antibiotics to prevent socket or systemic infection after a tooth extraction. Examples include amoxicillin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline (6). However, you should only take antibiotics if they are prescribed by your doctor.

If you experience pain, dry socket, swelling, and bleeding after tooth extraction, consult your dentist immediately. You should use Ambesol for a maximum of seven days. If pain and associated symptoms do not improve, consult your dentist.

Your dentist will examine you and prescribe the best medication for your condition. Always follow the dose regimen prescribed by your doctor for optimum effect. You should not use other local anaesthetics with Anbesol as it may cause side effects.

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