After a dental procedure such as a tooth extraction or oral surgery there may be some swelling in the first 48 hours, which may persist for up to 3-5 days. The swelling is usually due to inflammation from the procedure rather than infection.
Short term (acute) dental pain is usually inflammatory in nature. There are a number of things that may reduce pain and swelling such as:
- Applying a cold compress for up to 20 minutes at a time during the 24 hours after the procedure.
- Rinsing the mouth with warm saline after applying a cold compress.
- Taking a non-opioid pain relief such as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) or paracetamol.
NSAID’s have a pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effect and these are generally recommended as first line treatment for dental pain. The most commonly used NSAID is ibuprofen which can be used alone or in combination with paracetamol. Taking ibuprofen and paracetamol together are more effective in combination, than either of them alone. Preparations available in combination from a pharmacy include Maxigesic or Nuramol. Always take medication as prescribed.
If a NSAID such as ibuprofen is contraindicated, paracetamol or a combination of paracetamol and an opioid such as oxycodone may be recommended. Opioids are only prescribed in combination with ibuprofen or paracetamol at the lowest possible dose and for a short period of time.
If pain persists or is increasing in severity after a tooth extraction or surgical procedure please contact one of our dentist at Eumundi Dental as soon as possible.