Following a tooth extraction or oral surgery, significant pain is not uncommon. Natural remedies for pain following a dental extraction can bring a surprising amount of pain relief, without the risk of side effects from prescription pain medication. Home remedies for pain relief include clove oil, black tea bags, and the supplement bromelain.
Before considering any natural remedies, make sure they are compatible with your doctor’s recommendations! Each person is unique and each surgery is different. Additionally, you to consider any specific directions your doctor has given you for your individual situation. For example, oil pulling may not be compatible with many oral surgeries because of risk of “pulling” our the healing scabs in your mouth, or causing damage to stitches. If you have had significant bleeding or are on blood thinners, bromelain may not be suitable for your situation as it has blood thinning properties.
Cloves have antiseptic and numbing properties. Clove essential oil is a concentrated form of cloves. Using a clean cotton bud clove oil is dabbed onto the areas of pain. This remedy is often used every few hours as needed for pain.
Old fashioned black tea bags have been used for decades for their healing, astringent, and pain relieving properties. Simply moisten a tea bag and hold gently in your mouth at the site(s) of extraction. Using tea bags several times a day on the first day can often prevent swelling and promote healing.
Bromelain, derived from pineapple, is an anti-inflammatory supplement. Some find that it works as well as pain medication when taken every few hours.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herb. Taken regularly it can keep inflammation at bay, reduce the risk of infection and help with pain.
Used for pain relief, usually 2 capsules are taken every four hours, and always with a full glass of water to prevent constipation.
Salt Water Rinse
Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water to gently rinse your mouth every few hours. This is usually not recommended for day of surgery recovery but on the first and second day after recovery.
Ice packs held on the outside of your face can reduce pain and inflammation. Fill a few socks with rice and tie them on the ends. Freeze these rice socks. They made a very comfortable ice pack as they are soft and conform to your face.
You may be sleeping more following surgery, especially if you are taking prescription pain medication, which can make it harder to keep up your fluid intake. Mild to moderate dehydration can increase pain. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of liquids (water and herbal tea are ideal.) These fluids will help to flush out the anesthesia you have been given as well.
Unless you are told you should be using straws, they are usually contraindicated after oral surgery because they can interfere with healing.
Avoid Extreme Food Temperatures
Hot foods are usually not recommended in the first few days following surgery. Allow foods that are served hot to cool a bit first. Heat can increase pain and also circulation, which may increase bleeding.
Very cold foods may irritate exposed nerves.
Eat Soft Healing Foods
Give your body soft nutritious foods during recovery. Chips, pretzels, and other crunchy foods can disturb the healing sites and must be avoided until healing is complete.
Soft Healing Foods to Enjoy:
- Yogurt (avoid yogurts with fruits that have seeds)
- Soft mashed potatoes
- Mashed avocado
- Mashed banana
- Homemade jello
- Homemade broth
- Creamy soups
- Soft scrambled eggs
- Soft macaroni and cheese
- Smoothies (don't use a straw)
Your body is recovering from a stressful event. It will heal faster if you allow it to rest. Follow your doctor’s instructions about when you may return to work or school. This is a great time to catch up on books or movies you wish to enjoy.
Prescription Pain Medication Cautions
You may find that using natural remedies will help so much with pain that prescription pain medications are not needed. If you do not need prescription pain medications, don’t use them. They are strong and have high addiction risks. Many people have uncomfortable side effects from them including poor sleep and constipation.
Do you have a natural remedy for pain following oral surgery? Please send us some feedback!
Keep reading to see how our readers have dealt with post-surgical pain.