Ibuprofen vs Aleve (Naproxen) – Which Is Better For Toothache?


It is the generic name of a few brand medicines, like Advil or Motrin. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing the production of prostaglandins (hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the human body).


This medication is typically used to lower a high temperature, relieve the symptoms of fever and arthritis, and some types of pain, including:

  • toothache;
  • menstrual pain;
  • headache;
  • migraine;
  • nerve pain (neuralgia);
  • backache;
  • sprains and strains;
  • muscular pain.


To reduce pain, the usual recommended dose for an adult is 200 to 400 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as required.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Advil

Common side effects may include:

  • nervousness;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • bloating;
  • upset stomach pain;
  • mild itching or rash;
  • dizziness;
  • constipation;
  • diarrhea;
  • gas;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • mild heartburn.

Rare side effects may include:

  • rapid weight gain;
  • changes in your vision;
  • bloody or tarry stools;
  • shortness of breath;
  • little or no urinating;
  • coughing up blood;
  • trouble concentrating;
  • a sore throat;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • swelling of the ankles, face, tongue, or feet;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • skin pain followed by a purple skin rash;
  • burning in the eyes;
  • feeling light-headed;
  • painful urination;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • dark urine;
  • loss of appetite.

Important note – in 2015, the FDA strengthened their warning about the increased risk of stroke (a life-threatening condition which occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off) or heart attack when people are taking higher doses of this medication.


Since there are no well-controlled clinical studies in pregnant women, this medicine is best to be avoided especially in late pregnancy because of the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus (a blood vessel connecting the main pulmonary artery to the proximal descending aorta) in the fetal heart.


It is the brand name of a drug called naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing hormones (prostaglandins) that cause pain and inflammation in the human body.


This medication is used to treat pain and fever that is caused by inflammation, including pain due to muscle aches, arthritis, backache, sprains, strains, migraine, headache, minor surgery, menstrual cramps, dental extractions, toothache, and the common cold. Also, this medication can be used to reduce fever.


To reduce pain, the usual initial recommended dose for an adult is 500 mg orally. After the first dose, you may increase to 500 mg orally every 12 hours or 250 mg orally every 6-8 hours as required.

Note – since seniors are more likely to experience side effects, they should take the lowest possible effective dose. In addition, do not exceed 1000 mg per day.

Side Effects And Precaution Of Naproxen

Common side effects may include:

  • rash;
  • nausea;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • itching;
  • bruising;
  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • stomach pain;
  • heartburn.

Rare side effects may include:

  • rapid weight gain;
  • shortness of breath;
  • difficult urination;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • loss of appetite;
  • swelling of the tongue, face, feet, or ankles;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • dark urine;
  • tired feeling;
  • coughing up vomit which looks like coffee grounds;
  • trouble concentrating;
  • bloody or tarry stools;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • skin pain followed by a red skin rash;
  • burning in your eyes;
  • a sore throat;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • pale skin.


Because this medication may cause harm to a developing fetus, it should not be used in the later stages of pregnancy. In addition, it should also be avoided if you are breastfeeding a baby since it passes into milk and it may negatively affect the infant, especially if it is used for long periods of time, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Ibuprofen vs Aleve (Naproxen) – Which Is Better For Toothache?

According to the data, anti-inflammatory analgesics like ibuprofen are the best for a toothache as the pain is typically caused by swelling. On the other hand, Aleve (naproxen) works well for reducing inflammation and lasts longer than other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, paying a visit to the dentist as early as possible is the best course of action for tooth pain. In addition, due to their side effects, people should only take these drugs as directed for temporary relief before professional evaluation.

8 Natural Home Remedies for Tooth Pain

#1 Clove

It has been used to treat toothaches throughout history, due to its properties to reduce pain and inflammation. It also contains eugenol, that is a natural antiseptic.

#2 Onion

This vegetable has antimicrobial and antiseptic attributes which control a toothache.

#3 Garlic

It has antibiotic and other medicinal properties which can be very useful in reducing pain.

To use it, finely chop one garlic clove, then smash it and allow it to sit for approximately 5 minutes. Then, apply a small amount directly onto the affected area.

Note – do not use too much as it can burn.

#4 Cold Compress

If your face is swollen due to an inflamed tooth, put an ice pack on your cheek. This may help ease the pain.

#5 Hydrogen Peroxide 

A hydrogen peroxide rinse may also help to relieve inflammation and pain. Moreover, it can heal bleeding gums and reduce plaque.

#6 Peppermint Tea

Another home remedy for a toothache is peppermint tea in a bag form. To use it, you just need to place a peppermint tea bag in the freezer or refrigerator until it is cold. Then, apply the tea bag directly onto the affected area for about fifteen minutes.

#7 Alcohol

It is an astringent and an antiseptic that can help ease the pain of a toothache. To use it, pour some alcohol on a cotton ball and apply it to the sore tooth. Another option is to swoosh a bit of scotch, whiskey, or vodka.

#8 Salt Water Rinses

If your gums are swollen and your tooth hurts, rinsing your mouth with warm, saltwater may offer relief. To use it, add 2 tsp of marine salt to a cup of warm water. Then, swish the mixture around your mouth and then spit it out.

Image credit – Shutterstock

READ THIS NEXT: Dymista vs Nasonex

2 thoughts on “Ibuprofen vs Aleve (Naproxen) – Which Is Better For Toothache?”

Leave a Comment