Difference Between Anbesol And OrajelAnbesol Maximum Strength Gel and Orajel Maximum Toothache and Oral Pain Relief both contain Benzocaine, an oral anesthetic, that helps numb the area and provide pain relief.

Both Anbesol and Orajel products come in several different formulations that can help with oral health problems such as cold sores, toothaches, denture pain, and canker sores.  

The products may differ in the amount of Benzocaine present, ranging from 5% to 20%.

So, yes Anbesol and Orajel products are the same in that they contain the same active ingredient, but may differ in the amount of Benzocaine present in each product. Below is some information on the drug Benzocaine.


Benzocaine is a local anesthetic, that can be used topically or orally for pain relief.  When found in products like Anbesol Maximum Strength Gel and Orajel Maximum Toothache and Oral Pain Relief Swabs, it is being used for oral pain.

Benzocaine is generally well tolerated with the following adverse reactions possible:

  • Localized burning/stinging sensation
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Localized rash
  • Hypersensitivity reactions

A rare, but serious, reaction called methemoglobinemia is possible with use of Benzocaine, especially in higher concentrations.  Should any of the following reactions occur, you should stop use immediately and seek immediate medical attention:

  • Headache
  • Dizzness
  • Pale colored skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate

For this reason, the FDA does not recommend using Benzocaine in children under the age of 2.  They are at an increased risk for the development of methemoglobinemia.  Non-Pharmacologic measures should be tried in teething children, such as massaging the gums or giving the child a cold, teething ring.

In conclusion, Anbesol and Orajel products contain the same active ingredient, Benzocaine. Individual products may differ by amount of Benzocaine present and may not be exactly the same depending upon the products being used.