Managing Oral Pain After Your Dental Implant Procedure

Posted on

Having dental implants can make day-to-day life much easier. You won't have to remove your dentures or worry about others staring at your gummy denture smile! Yet, there will be some mild to moderate pain as you recover from dental implant surgery. The following are effective ways to manage that pain.

Take pain relievers

In some cases, your dentist may prescribe opiate pain relievers for you to take the first couple of days post-surgery. However, since problems with opiate addiction have become more common, many dentists are trying to steer their patients away from these drugs. If your dentist does not prescribe pain medication, you can take over-the-counter ibuprofen to ease your pain. Make sure you take it as often as recommended on the bottle. It's more effective if you take your next dose before the pain returns rather than waiting until you're in pain again.

Apply ice

You do not want to apply ice to the inside of your mouth, as you could end up cooling your gum tissues too much and impeding the healing process. However, applying ice to the outside of your mouth can be soothing and is generally safe. A bag of frozen peas or carrots works better than actual ice since the veggies inside the bag will mold to the shape of your face. 

Rinse with salt water

Rinsing with salt water is generally recommended to help prevent infection after oral surgery. (The salt keeps bacteria from proliferating.) It can also help with pain by drawing some of the inflammation out of your gums. You can't really overdo the salt water rinses, so feel free to swish some salt water around in your mouth whenever the soreness starts to bother you. Just don't swish with too much force -- you don't want to dislodge any of your stitches. A teaspoon of salt per cup of water is the generally recommended concentration.

Take your time returning to solid foods

Your dentist may tell you that you can return to eating solid foods whenever you feel ready. Take your time with this -- if you bite into harder foods too soon after surgery, the chewing will just make your mouth more sore. Stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, pasta, and smoothies for a week at the least.

For more pain management advice, reach out to your dentist. They may even have a handout they provide to patients who have had dental implants put into place.