Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®


Dental anesthetics are used in the mouth to relieve pain or irritation caused by many conditions. Examples include toothache, teething, and sores in or around the mouth, such as cold sores, canker sores, and fever blisters. Also, some of these medicines are used to relieve pain or irritation caused by dentures or other dental appliances, including braces. However, if you have an infection or a lot of large sores in your mouth, check with your medical doctor or dentist before using a dental anesthetic because other kinds of treatment may be needed. Also, the chance of side effects is increased.

One form of lidocaine is also used to relieve pain caused by certain throat conditions. Some forms of benzocaine, benzocaine and menthol combination, and dyclonine are also used to relieve sore throat pain.

Some of these medicines are available only with your medical doctor's or dentist's prescription. Others are available without a prescription; however, your medical doctor or dentist may have special instructions on the proper use and dose for your medical problem. Some nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) aerosols, gels, liquids, or ointments that contain a local anesthetic are not meant to be used in or around the mouth. If you have any questions about which product to use, check with your pharmacist.