When You Can’t Take Narcotics: Easing Pain After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Many times, dentists will prescribe narcotic pain relievers, like codeine or hydrocodone, to patients to ease the pain after wisdom tooth removal surgery. However, if you can’t or prefer not to take these pain relievers, there are other methods you can rely on to stay comfortable while you heal.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you can take over-the-counter pain relievers, follow these tips to ensure they’re as effective as possible for managing your pain:

  • Choose an NSAID pain reliever, like ibuprofen or naproxen, over a non-NSAID pain reliever like acetaminophen. NSAIDS relieve pain and inflammation, which will make you far more comfortable after wisdom tooth removal surgery.
  • Avoid taking aspirin to ease your pain. It thins the blood and may make it harder for your body to form clots where your teeth were removed, increasing your risk of dry socket.
  • Take your pain relievers before the pain becomes unbearable. They tend to be more effective when taken before the pain sets in, rather than after.

To ensure your safety, remember to only take the dose recommended on the bottle, unless instructed otherwise by your dentist or doctor.

Rinse with Salt Water

Dentists will often tell their patients to rinse their mouths with salt water following wisdom tooth extraction because this helps fight infection. However, it’s also an effective means of relieving pain, as the salt draws extra moisture out of your gum tissue, relieving some of the pressure that makes recovering from wisdom tooth surgery so uncomfortable. Prepare a mixture of ½ teaspoon salt water to one cup of warm water. Swish a mouthful around gently for about 30 – 60 seconds. Repeat this process whenever your pain becomes intense; you really can’t rinse with salt water too often.

Sip ice-cold beverages.

Holding ice packs on the outside of your face is a good way to reduce swelling and pain, but you can take this one step further by icing the inside of your mouth. Prepare a nice, cold smoothie or drink, and sip it slowly throughout the day, making sure it makes plenty of contact with the area from which the tooth was removed. Remember not to use a straw, as the sucking may increase your risk of dry socket. Also, don’t use any ingredients in your smoothies that have small seeds that could get stuck in your socket. This includes raspberries and strawberries.

By using over-the-counter pain relievers properly, rinsing with salt water, and sipping cold beverages, you should be able to manage the pain associated with wisdom tooth removal quite effectively without narcotic pain relievers.

For more information, contact a group like Higson Dental Group.

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5 Essentials To Have On Hand For A Dental Emergency

Most people keep a first aid kit or basic medical supplies around to deal with minor injuries. Check your first aid supplies. Do you have the products you need to take care of a dental emergency? Unfortunately, many dental emergencies happen at the worst possible time. However, with a good dental emergency kit on hand, you can deal with the dental emergency until you can see the dentist. Here’s a look at five important dental essentials to have in your dental emergency kit.

1. Temporary Filling Product

One of the most common dental emergencies is a lost filling, and leaving the cavity exposed may allow food and bacteria to enter the open space. Start by rinsing the cavity with warm water to make sure you remove anything that may have fallen into the cavity. Use a temporary filling product, which you can find at a local drugstore, to fill the cavity. These products are designed to relieve pain, they come with an easy-to-use applicator, and they don’t require any mixing. Temporary filling products can also be used to replace a lost crown, inlay, or cap. It’s still important to see a dentist as quickly as possible, since the product only offers a temporary solution.

2. Oral Pain Relief Product

Never ignore tooth pain, since it could indicate an infection. However, oral pain relief products offer temporary pain relief while you’re waiting to contact your dentist. Multiple oral pain relief options are available, and clove oil is a natural pain reliever that may prove helpful. Never use powdered aspirin or other painkillers on your gums, since they may burn your gum tissue.

3. Emergency Denture Repair Kit

If you wear dentures, make sure you have a spare pair of dentures on hand in case your dentures crack or break. However, if you don’t have a spare pair, an emergency denture repair kit will come to the rescue. These kits are available at a local pharmacy and they include directions how to perform common denture repairs. Don’t expect the repairs to last for more than a few days, so you still need to see your dentist.

4. Dental Wax

Dental wax is especially important if you have braces. If you end up with broken braces or broken wires, the sharp wires can cut the inside of your mouth. Dental wax, available at most pharmacies, can be used to cover the sharp ends of the wires, protecting the soft tissue inside your mouth. In a pinch, dental wax can be used to cover the gap left by a lost filling if you don’t have a temporary filling product.

5. Tooth Saving Product

Losing a tooth is serious, and you need to protect and save the tooth if possible. The best option is to put the tooth back into the socket. However, if the tooth won’t go into the socket, you shouldn’t force it. Tooth saving products can be purchased at drugstores and they’re designed to protect the delicate fibers that bind the tooth to your jaw. When a tooth won’t go back in, place it in a tooth saving product and head to the dentist quickly.

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5 Reasons To Get Dental Implants Instead Of Dentures

Smiling at a random stranger can brighten up their day just a little. A simple smile can go a long way in our day and age. Tooth loss should not prevent you from being able to smile and share that with everyone else. Whether it is caused by aging, disease, or an accident, tooth loss can be resolved with procedures such as implants and dentures.

Low Maintenance

The maintenance that comes with the dental implants is much easier than with the dentures. The implants not only feel like real teeth they can be maintained in the same way. Daily brushing, flossing, and regular checkups are what make up the care for dental implants. This is much easier and cost efficient than constantly buying new fixatives, cleaning solutions for dentures, or even new sets of dentures.

Available for Different Types

The dental implants are a tooth-loss solution that can work for different types and numbers of teeth. These implants are usually recommended for those who have lost one or two teeth. However, you can also use them for when you lose several teeth at the same time. They can replace a whole set of teeth for the patient or just one; either way, dental implants offer both types of options.

Durability and Stability

While dentures may last up to 6 years if properly cared for, dental implants can last from 15 to 20 years and even for life. There will be no need to constantly change and buy new ones relatively often. The dental implants are also very stable once put in place. The procedure uses screws to place the implants, therefore keeping the implants in place for much longer.

Healthy Teeth

The dental implants protect a few aspects of your dental health. First, the implants help your natural teeth by keeping them in place and preventing more teeth from falling out. Second, if you are young, since the implants use screws, your jawbone and teeth can be preserved and continue to grow. Third, with new replacements, your implants can help in preventing gum disease.

For Your Own Sake

Sometimes it is okay to be a little selfish when it comes to our teeth and what comes with having to replace them. These implants can save you the embarrassment of dentures falling out in front of people. They also allow you to eat what you want and have no restrictions. These implants allow you to continue your daily lives while being comfortable and painless for you.

In the end, the choice is up to each individual. Whether or not you can have the dental implants depends on your previous dental health and history. It is best to consult with your doctor to check what option may be best for you in your individual situation. The dental implants are costlier option than the dentures. However, no price can be placed on the benefits that come with the implants. They pay for themselves in the change they bring for you. 

Contact a dentist to find out more.

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The Facts To Eliminate Dreaded Denture Misconceptions

If you are losing your natural teeth, there is a fairly good chance that the first recommendation made by your dentist will be to obtain dentures. After all, dentures are typically the most financially-logical decision and they are even covered by many health insurance plans. If you know you are facing a future with dentures, it would not be surprising if you are feeling a little dread about the whole situation. This dread usually comes along with a few common misconceptions that are consistently generated by the public. Here are a few of those misconceptions and the true facts you should know.

Misconception: Dentures will make you gag for a long time after you first get them.

Fact: The feeling of something foreign in your mouth can stimulate the gag reflex when you first start wearing the dentures. This is usually associated more with the top dentures that will naturally touch areas toward the back of your mouth. This feeling will subside quickly, but if you continue to have issues, you may have to have the denturist make a few minor adjustments. You should expect about one week for every decade old you are to adjust to your new dentures and how they feel in your mouth.

Misconception: New dentures can cause sores and blisters in your mouth.

Fact: People who have not allowed a sufficient amount of time for their gums to heal after their natural teeth are extracted can experience more soreness and irritation. However, if your dentures are wearing down your gums and causing sores and blisters in your mouth, it is usually a sign that they are not fitting appropriately. This is especially true beyond the first few weeks after you get your new dentures.

Misconception: You will have to use an adhesive to make your dentures stable enough to chew and talk with.

Fact: With ill-fitting dentures of the past, slipping and sliding was just to be expected, and therefore, most people did use a dental adhesive for stability. However, new dentures are made with softer acrylic materials that better conform to the shape and size of your mouth. Denturists take great measures to ensure that you get a proper fit to avoid such problems. It is not uncommon for dentures to need adjustment over the years as your gums change and shrink, but this can always be addressed by a professional denturist.

When you take some time to learn the facts about dentures, you will see that there is really nothing to dread other than the initial adjustment period. Be sure to talk openly with your dentist and denturist about any questions and concerns that you have about obtaining dentures and you will feel much better about the whole situation.

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How to Properly Floss Your Teeth

According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, 47.2 percent of adults in the United States over 30 years old have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a leading cause of gum decay and tooth loss, and is often irreversible once it gets to its advanced stages. The best way to avoid getting periodontal disease is to keep your teeth healthy and clean, and properly flossing your teeth after brushing is one of the best ways to keep plaque and bacteria from building up between and around your teeth that can lead to periodontal disease. Here is how should floss your teeth on a daily basis.

Dental Floss Basics

The best type of floss to use for those who have teeth that are close together is wax-covered floss, but for those who have teeth with gaps, a thicker tape floss is typically best to use. Also, single-filament floss tends to hold up better than multi-filament floss (which tends to break apart while you use it). Remove a string of floss about 18 inches long from the container. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers and hold it in place with your thumbs. Place the floss around the side of a tooth so it forms a U-shape. You will run the floss up and down on both sides and the back of your teeth until you have cleaned each tooth. The back of your teeth will take a little more practice than doing the sides of your teeth before you do it right, but in time you’ll become an expert at it.

Be Gentle

Your gums are made out of soft tissue and can be easily damaged if you floss too hard. You don’t want to force the floss down between your gums until it slices through the tissue and cause your gums to start bleeding – damaged gums can also allow bacteria to enter the soft tissue and cause an infection that could damage your gums even more than overzealous flossing.  You do want to get the floss down between the gums and your tooth, but you want to gently nudge the floss along the gums until you meet resistance. Once you meet resistance, you’ll gently pull the floss up to the top of the tooth.

If you think you are holding or using the floss wrong, talk to your dentist, one like Northland Village Dental Centre, so they, or their assistant, can show you how to properly hold and use dental floss.

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