Four Ways To Ease Pain While Healing From Dental Implant Surgery

When you return home from having your dental implants inserted into your jaw bone, you probably have some mixed feelings. You're excited that you'll soon have new teeth in your mouth (once you have those crowns attached), but the pain is also starting to set in, making you feel uneasy and irritable. Likely, your dentist will prescribe you a pain reliever to use during the first few days after surgery. In addition to following the dosing instructions closely, here are a few other things you can do to ease your pain.

Stay relaxed and seated as much as possible.

Research has shown that the more tense a person is, the more intense their pain will become. Thus, while your instinct may be to get worked up over the pain, it's important to tell yourself to relax. Watch relaxing videos, do some basic breathing exercises, and play calming music to keep your body loose and your pain levels low.

Resist the urge to jump right back into your everyday activities after your surgery. When you're up and active, your blood pressure increases, and this can cause your pain levels to increase. Make the sofa your home for the next few days, and ask a friend or family member to help you out with cooking and other basic care, so you can stay seated and relaxed as much as possible.

Rinse your mouth with salt water.

This is often recommended for patients who have had teeth extracted, but it's actually useful for patients who have had any type of oral surgery, including implants. The salt helps draw excess moisture out of the gums, relieving pressure and, in turn, alleviating pain. As an added bonus, the salt helps kill bacteria and prevent infection.

Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm (not hot) water, and use this to gently rinse your mouth out four or five times per day. You don't have to spend money on fancy sea salt -- plain table salt will work just fine.

Sip valerian root tea.

Valerian is a natural herb that is known for alleviating stress and also for reducing the sensitivity of the nerves. Usually, it is consumed in the form of a tea, which you can find at a local health food store. Brew the tea according to the instructions on the package, and sip it throughout the day to help ease your pain. It's wise to double check with your dentist before using valerian, just to be sure it does not counteract any other medications you are taking.

Apply a ginger compress.

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that may help reduce some of the swelling and pain in your healing gums. It can also improve circulation, which may help speed up your healing process. While sipping ginger tea is an option, a more direct way to harness ginger's benefits is to create a compress and apply it to the surgical site. Grate a few teaspoons of fresh ginger root, wrap it in cheesecloth, and then dunk it in hot water. After allowing it to soak and absorb the water for a few seconds, let it cool and then gently bite down on it, leaving it in place for about 20 minutes.

While ginger should be safe to use, you should double-check with your dentist before using this remedy, since everyone's biology and medication use is different.

Most patients find that after a few days, the pain associated with dental surgery is mostly gone. However, those few days can be pretty long if you don't do a good job of managing your pain. Employ all of the tactics above, and you'll be off to the best start possible.