If you're concerned about pain and swelling in your face and jaws after your dental implant surgery, you may wonder if you can do anything to stop them from happening in the first place. Pain and swelling are common side effects that most people experience after they receive their implants. Although you can't do anything to keep the side effects from occurring, you can take steps to minimize them at home. Here's why pain and swelling occurs after implant surgery and what you can do to minimize it.
Why Does Swelling Develop After Dental Implant Surgery?
Pain and swelling are inflammatory responses that develop in tissues, organs and other body areas that have experienced some type of trauma, injury or infection. Because dental implant surgery involves cutting into the soft and hard tissues of your mouth, you may experience some minor trauma in those areas. Although pain and swelling may seem like bad things, they may actually not be. Unless your symptoms last more than 7-10 days post surgery or become intense, they may help your tissues heal.
To protect your dental implant sites from infection and other dangers, your body releases special fluids, including blood and lymph, to heal them. The fluids contain white blood cells and lymph fluids, which the immune system uses to fight, destroy or contain pathogens. You generally experience pain when the fluids build up inside the tissues and press against the nerves that connect to them. After the tissues begin to heal, the swelling subsides.
Your dentist may prescribe pain medications to help you overcome the inflammation in your dental implant sites, but you can also take steps to minimize your discomfort at home.
How Can You Feel More Comfortable at Home?
Until your swelling and pain subsides, try sleeping with your head raised during the night to help the fluids drain from your face and jaw. Use at least two pillows to keep your head properly raised, but you may use more pillows if you can't find relief with two.
In addition, to raising your head, place ice packs or cold compresses on your jaws immediately upon returning home after surgery. Sources recommend that you only apply the compresses for 15-20 minutes, then allow your skin time to rest for 45 minutes. If you're unsure about how long to apply your compresses, consult with a dentist.
To learn more about dental implant pain and swelling, contact a dentist near you today.