It would seem we are a nation of pill poppers when it comes painkillers with Brits saying that on average they are taking a massive six painkillers a week and will only wait on average 1-2 hours before taking a painkiller for some of the most common ailments including headache, backache, toothache and a hangover. Some of us (21%) even say we are taking painkillers as a preventive measure like before we go to bed after a night of drinking to avoiding a hangover.

This does not really come as a huge surprise when you consider that the survey, which was carried out by Orajel Dental Toothache Gel, found that most people will use pain killer pills as their primary treatment for headaches (96%), a hangover (86%), backache (74%) and toothache (91%).

So are we becoming too dependent on painkiller pills as a default response to masking the pain instead of getting to the root of the problem?

When looking specifically at toothache, which almost half of respondents thought was more painful than a headache (47%), a stubbed toe (46%) and a stomachache (43%), over half (54%) of people said their first response would be to reach for the pain killer pills with only 27% saying they would go to a dentist. In fact, Brits said that on average they would go a whole eight days before seeking professional help from a dentist, if they seek it at all, with 9% saying they would never seek professional help, instead choosing to just grin and bare it.

Family GP Dr Sarah Brewer said "Oral painkillers should be used in the lowest possible dose for the shortest time possible to allow you to control your symptoms. They should not be a default option that we automatically reach for every time we suffering from a common ailment and we certainly wouldn't recommend regular use as a preventive measure. The long term and ongoing use of oral painkillers can be linked to side effects including nausea, diarrhea and indigestion but in some cases this can also lead to stomachache ulcers, raised blood pressure and even kidney problems."

Other findings from the Orajel Dental Gel survey are that 22% of Brits said they have taken time off work due to a toothache and the average time taken was two days. Nearly half of respondents said they would rather go two weeks without sex (47%), a week without their phones (43%) or have a stubbed toe (42%) than have a toothache.

Majority of people (53%) believe that not brushing our teeth regularly causes toothache, followed by wisdom teeth coming through (50%), drinking sugary drinks (41%) and grinding teeth (41%) Only half of Brits said that they brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes.

Dr Brewer continues " There are often some alternative measures people can explore as an initial option to minimize their use of oral painkillers. For example, many people will experience a headache when they are dehydrated so drinking a big glass of water could be enough to help relieve the pain. For backache, heat treatment can help relax the muscles and when experiencing toothache, a specially designed dental gel like Orajel can be used directly on the tooth to numb the area until you can get to a dentist who can get to the source of the actual problem to help prevent ongoing problems."

Escape the misery of toothache with Orajel™ Dental gel (RRP £4.79) the UK's No.1 selling toothache gel. The 10% w/w Benzocaine formula delivers rapid relief when and where you need it most, temporarily blocking the pathway of pain signals along the nerves and relieving pain by numbing the area. Ideal for reducing pain associated with a broken tooth or in a tooth that may require a filling, Orajel Dental Gel gives you control over the product during application and goes right to the source of your pain to provide targeted relief.

Brits are taking on average six painkillers a week

Brits are taking on average six painkillers a week

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