Written By Jennifer Raskin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Have you had a toothache recently? Or perhaps needed to have a tooth extracted? It might have come as a surprise to you that your dentist handed you a prescription for ibuprofen rather than opioids.
There are many options to manage dental pain which is why it’s important to speak up when you visit your dentist. Whether you made an urgent appointment because you’re in pain or a procedure you’re having will leave you feeling sore, the lines of communication need to be open so your dentist can best assist you.
Why is your dentist only giving you ibuprofen? Shouldn’t he or she give you something stronger? Not necessarily. Here’s what you should know about ibuprofen when it comes to managing dental pain.
Pain level and duration when managing dental pain
First and foremost, you’ll need to let your dentist know what kind of pain you’re experiencing. Depending on whether it’s short-term pain or something chronic, that can make a difference in what your dentist recommends.
Your health history matters when managing dental pain
It might seem tedious to have to fill out forms about your conditions when you visit your dentist. Don’t they already have that on file? Yes, they do, however, they need to know if you’ve had any changes to your health since your last visit. If your primary care physician diagnosed a heart condition, your dentist must know to make sure nothing will interfere with it.
Disclosing all medications when managing dental pain
It’s also extremely important that you tell your dentist what other medications you are taking for any of your health conditions. Even if you are otherwise healthy and don’t currently take anything, if you do rely on OTC medicines for the occasional headache or cold, you should let them know.
Prescriptions Or OTCs: Which One Is Best for managing dental pain?
Often, if you call your dentist after hours and your dental problem isn’t a major emergency, you’ll likely be encouraged to take OTC pain meds like anti-inflammatory NSAIDs including ibuprofen or acetaminophen, commonly found under the brand name of Tylenol.
It depends on the situation, but some of your OTC options might be better than others. And sometimes, when you combine two types of OTC medications under your dentist’s direction, you may get better results. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help severe pain after molar extraction, and in fact, they do so better than opioids.
You should never combine any OTC medications or prescription medications without consent from your dentist or doctor though. If you’ve previously suffered a heart attack or have an irregular heartbeat, or are on medications to prevent blood clots, you have an extreme risk. The same goes for those with asthma and kidney disease.
There are times when OTC medications just won’t cut it though in their dosage you can buy on your own. When those times arise, dentists are still more keen to write you a prescription for a higher dosage of ibuprofen. This is because opioids tend to make people very sleepy and they can be addictive.
But another key reason that might have your dentist sending you off for ibuprofen is that it is anti-inflammatory, something that will drastically help your recovery while soothing the pain. Be ready for it when you call your dentist about pesky dental pains!
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.