No one is a stranger to mouth pain, especially to those who do not keep up with regular brushing and flossing and exit the dentist’s office with sore, puffy gums after a routine cleaning. But while that pain goes away within the hour, some pain is longer lasting and may be present as a dull ache for days after an in-depth procedure. This can disrupt one’s day and make even the simplest of tasks that much harder to do. Here are a few tips and tricks to reduce your dental pain:
- Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen: These are the most common type of pain relievers, often a go-to for headaches and general body pains, which includes tooth pain as well. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) at most grocery stores in the pharmacy section. Always read and follow the label to be sure these products are right for you as those under a certain age and those with certain health conditions are not able to take them. Patients that have undergone a wisdom tooth extraction or something similar in which bleeding was involved are advised to stay away from Asprin as a relief as it is a blood thinner and complicates the healing process.
- Ora-Jel: For something more targeted and topical, trust Ora-jel to get the job done. Available in a wide variety of application methods, Ora-jel contains benzocaine for fast-acting temporary relief of toothaches. Again, read and follow the label for proper application and to ensure that this product is suitable for your needs.
- General Avoidance: This one may seem like common sense, but it deserves to be mentioned. Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where your procedure was performed to reduce the risk of pain. Steering clear of hot drinks such as coffee and tea, and laying off the ice cream for the first little while after your dental treatment is beneficial as well. Stick to room temperature, softer foods such a soft cheeses, yogurt, and jello, and you shouldn’t experience any discomfort.
- Saltwater Rinse: After 24 hours has passed following your dental procedure, you may start saltwater rinses. Mixing 1 tablespoon with a glass of water (about 8oz), swish the water gently around your mouth and then deposit it in the sink. Be sure not to swallow the mixture. Rinses are recommended to be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.
- Bed Rest: Especially after an extensive procedure like a root canal, implant, or tooth extraction, limiting your activities for the first few days is recommended. Strenuous activity may cause increased bleeding, swelling, and general discomfort. Because your caloric intake has been decreased from the lack of solid foods, muscle weakness and light-headed feelings may occur when rising from a laying down or sitting position. Take it easy and let your body recover.
This is list is certainly not exhaustive. There are many other home remedies out there, but your dentist should provide you with a post-procedure care guide to take home before you leave the office. If your pain persists and is accompanied by uncontrollable bleeding and extensive swelling, please contact your dental professional as soon as possible.