Take The Ouch Out Of Your Dental Visit: Pain Relievers That Are Safe To Take In Advance

Posted on: 16 November 2016

When you are faced with your semi-annual dental cleaning, do you wince at the thought? If so, you might be tempted to skip it. That would definitely make your gums and teeth more painful in the long run, but how do you address the pain without doing or taking something you should not? The following pain relievers are safe to take a half hour before your dental cleaning, which may make the whole process far less painful.


Your gums, if they are not completely healthy, will be slightly puffy and inflamed before the dentist or hygienist even begins his/her work. You can reduce both the pain and some of the puffiness ahead of time by taking an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Be sure the bottle of pills clearly states "anti-inflammatory" and nothing else, and only take the recommended dose about twenty to thirty minutes before your scheduled appointment for maximum benefit.

Steroid Medications

If you have a prescription medication for steroids, these are also considered "anti-inflammatories" because they affect your body in much the same way as the over-the-counter ones do. Usually, you would be prescribed these medications if you have arthritis, fibromyalgia, or some other painful musculo-skeletal disorder/disease. They are not available without a prescription, although you might be able to get a pre-dental prescription dose if you can convince your doctor you need it.

Oral Numbing Agents

While these numbing agents are not pain pills or pain relievers per se, they are quite effective at taking the sting out of a dental cleaning when you have a lot of plaque or inflamed gum tissue. Rub the numbing agents on your gums just before you are called in to sit in the dental chair. Their effect wears off quickly, but not so quickly that they will not see you through your cleaning. People who have a difficult time swallowing pills or who would rather not take pain medication for their whole body when just their teeth and gums need it often resort to this option for oral pain control.

Pain Medication You Definitely Should NOT Take 

Likewise, there are some medications you should not take before any dental care or work. One pain medication in particular, plain old aspirin, should not be taken at all. Aspirin doubles as a blood thinner, and as such, it can cause heavier than normal bleeding of your gums if the dentist or hygienist has to scrape plaque from under the gum lines. Stick with the above options, and you will be alright.

For more information, contact a local dentist, such as Kyle J Frisinger DMD.