Dental Implants: How You Can Effectively Address Post-Surgery Pain Or Swelling At Home

Dental implants are typically followed with only fairly minor discomfort, but there are some instances when patients experience more significant post-procedural pain or swelling. The good news is that most persons can effectively address these issues at home using simple remedies that cost little and will grant relief from discomfort and swelling. Below are several things you can do to help eliminate the pain or swelling experienced after a dental implant:

Take an acetaminophen and ibuprofen "cocktail".

Acetaminophen has a long history of being used to successfully treat minor pain, and ibuprofen is also a tested pain-reliever and favorite choice for fighting inflammation. Paired together, these medications have been proven to demonstrate enhanced pain-fighting characteristics, especially when it comes to dental-related discomfort.

Before treating yourself using these popular over-the-counter medicines, you should be aware of a few important cautions concerning their use. Acetaminophen abuse can be deadly; above its daily dosage limits, acetaminophen is known to cause permanent and often fatal liver damage. Ibuprofen is more forgiving, but its misuse can be a cause of gastric bleeding. Medical professionals have established a safe daily limit of 3000 milligrams of acetaminophen per day, while 2400 milligrams of ibuprofen is a safe daily maximum.

To treat pain caused by dental implants using a "cocktail" of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, begin by simultaneously taking 500 milligrams of acetaminophen and 400 milligrams of ibuprofen no more than once every 6 hours. This will keep the dosages for each well below their safe limits and prevent any possible side-effects caused by the medications.

Apply cold to the implant area as soon as possible.

Another effective pain-fighting strategy you should use is applying cold in the form of ice or chilled foods and beverages to the affected area. For best results, it is important to use ice as soon as possible after signs of swelling or pain appear. To apply ice, crush it into small particles and place them inside a clean, sealed sandwich bag. Next, place the ice-filled bag into another sandwich bag to reduce the amount of condensation and to minimize the extreme cold against your skin or gums. Place the bag directly against your gums next to the affected tooth and keep it there for as long as possible until the pain or swelling is reduced.

In addition to ice, you can also drink cold beverages such as iced juice and shakes or eat frozen desserts. These will provide comfort and nutrition without aggravating a sore tooth. However, be sure not to drink beverages with a straw, as sucking can irritate the site of the implant.

Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.

A time-honored treatment for dental pain is the use of saltwater rinses. Saltwater is a soothing solution and will ease pain naturally without any side effects. To use saltwater, begin by mixing one teaspoon of ordinary table salt into one cup of warm water. Stir the mixture until all the salt is dissolved. Heat the water to a warm, but comfortable, temperature, and be careful not to burn your mouth by overheating it. Take a sip of the saltwater, then hold it in your mouth for at least 20 seconds and allow it to bathe the affected dental implant site. Do not swish the water around in your mouth, as this can aggravate the pain or the healing gum tissues. Once you have allowed the water to rinse your mouth, gently spit it out into a sink or toilet.

Obtain professional help for severe pain or swelling

If you experience unmanageable or severe pain or swelling that will not go away despite treatment, contact your dentist, like Richard L. Myers, DDS, for help. While mild or moderate discomfort is a reality of dental implants, severe pain may be a sign of a possible complication such as a loose implant or brooding infection. Your dentist can check the implant for problems and also provide effective, prescription pain relief.