Effective and commonly used painkillers for a toothache are ibuprofen or Advil, acetaminophen or Tylenol, and naproxen or Aleve, states MedicineNet. These temporary pain relievers are available over-the-counter and do not require prescription.
Ibuprofen and naproxen work as anti-inflammatories, while acetaminophen works by blocking pain receptors in the brain. Because of this, acetaminophen is not as effective in relieving the inflammation often associated with toothache, notes WebMD. However, alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen can sometimes be effective in relieving a toothache, states MedicineNet. Taking painkillers does not cure a toothache and is not an adequate alternative to seeking professional dental treatment.