“Just raise your hand if it hurts,” the dentist says. As if any dental work could possibly NOT hurt.
So, of course, you raise your hand. And they squeeze so much anesthesia into your mouth that your tongue feels like it’s a foot thick.
Then it hits you about an hour later. The drugs wear off, and it hurts. A LOT. You went in for some routine dental work and came home feeling like you were hit in the jaw with a hammer.
So, anticipating this very thing, the dentist also sent you home with something else. And that, of course, was a prescription for a powerful opioid painkiller.
You know, “just in case you need it.” And when that anesthesia wears off, and you get hit with that first wave of pain, it sure can feel like you really do need it.
But new research shows why you can rip up that risky prescription. Because there’s another… far safer… option to help ease dental pain.
How dentists are fueling the opioid epidemic
By now, we ALL know the truth about painkillers. They can be downright dangerous. Especially prescription opioids.
It doesn’t matter if they’re prescribed for back pain or after a round of dental work. They pose the same risks. And we all intend to avoid them as best we can.
After all, even when they don’t lead to addiction and death, opioids can come with some alarming side effects.
These heavy-duty painkillers can leave you loopy. Unable to concentrate. Sleepy. And dangerously unsteady on your feet, sending your fall risk soaring.
Even worse, they could cause you to do things you’d never do in your right mind. Like midnight home-shopping-channel sprees you don’t even remember until the packages start showing up on your doorstep.
Nearly everyone in medicine knows most people shouldn’t get the meds because of these and other risks. Opioids should only be reserved for the most intense and extreme pain.
The new study confirms dentists know it’s true when it comes to dental work, too. But far too many ignore the warnings.
In fact, 84 percent of dentists asked in the study say they know a combination of over-the-counter painkillers works just as well as opioids. And yet, a stunning 43 percent say they prescribe the opioids for dental pain anyway.
The new study ends with a call for “education” for dentists. But clearly, education won’t cut it. As their own analysis shows, 84 percent of dentists ALREADY KNOW there’s a better option.
How painkiller problems pop up after dental work
Even over-the-counter painkillers have side effects and should be used sparingly, of course. But used as directed for short, temporary situations, they’re a FAR better choice than heavy-duty prescription drugs.
In most cases, if you’re battling some dental pain alternating the over-the-counter painkillers ibuprofen and acetaminophen will cover your pain. Ask your dentist about this option before filling a prescription.
But opioids or the ibuprofen-acetaminophen combo aren’t your only choices either. Depending on your discomfort, there are other effective options for dental pain. And that includes some so simple that you may already have everything you need on hand.
For example, making a cup of peppermint tea and then resting the (cooled) teabag on the sore spot in your mouth. This can often deliver quick and gentle relief thanks to its natural menthol content.
A slightly warm salt water rinse can also help dull many cases of dental pain.
Plus, most folks think of over-the-counter tooth and gum pain gels or sprays as stop-gap measures before you get in to see your dentist. But these same products can actually be quite helpful for after visit pain.
You can even pick up all-natural versions without the anesthetic benzocaine if you prefer. As well as gentle, drug-free products made to be safe enough for babies.
Speak to your dentist before trying any of these options, of course. Just to be sure they don’t interfere in any way with the dental work you’ve had done.
For more easy tips on dealing with dental pain without drugs, check out my earlier special report EASE a toothache… the NATURAL way.
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