I had oral surgery yesterday–pretty major, actually–but I’m not on codeine or any of those types of medication, just 800mg Ibuprofen. This means I’m not making ground-breaking statements like “purple tastes like crowbar”. 😉
Years ago a dentist put me on Vicoprofen after a relatively “minor” procedure (apicoectomy). It just made me light-headed without touching the pain. Fortunately, I worked for a doctor at the time. When he got tired of me wincing/moaning in between dealing with patients and racing around the office looking for charts, he wrote me a prescription for Vicodin and sent me off to the pharmacy. He denounced the dentist saying it was like having my appendix removed and only being given Tylenol.
So, what’s the difference? Why, after what I went through today (I will spare you the details), would I not demand the “good” drugs?
This surgeon understands what causes dental pain: Inflammation. When we’re injured, fluids rush to the site to aid healing, but this also causes pain and throbbing. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation, and so does cold. This is why you ice a sports injury.
Rather than using drugs to cover the pain of the inflammation, my surgeon hits it with a 1-2 punch. For the first 24 hours, I basically use an ice pack and guzzle ice-cold drinks one mouthful at a time–holding it for a bit before swallowing so it keeps my mouth freezing. Since I already drink a lot of water anyway, this is not a problem for me. Yes, I am wearing sweats while it’s 80 outside, but one day of this beats the out-of-it-ness of the alternative. 🙂
Then after 24 hours, I start the warm rinses and change to a heat pack. This opens the blood vessels, allowing any accumulated fluids to drain away.
Try it if you ever have a tooth pulled.