Dentists often recommend skipping certain medications when you're prepping for a surgical procedure, including the simple pain reliever aspirin. If you take aspirin regularly or rely upon it when you're having a headache or another pain problem, this might be discouraging or confusing for you. Check out this simple guide to understand why your dentist wants you to do this and why you really need to listen to their advice.
What Aspirin Does to Blood
Aspirin is famous not only for its ability to reduce pain but also because it's useful for thinning the blood. This is part of why it's often recommended for people who are trying to avoid having a heart attack or stroke. Thinner blood can help to prevent blood clots, and it's useful for people with clogged arteries. However, thin blood can potentially also be a problem.
Why This Could be a Problem
When the blood is thinned by aspirin, it has more difficulty clotting. While this is good for people with cardiovascular problems, it's not what you want to have happen while you're under the knife.
If your blood is thinned by aspirin, it can not only be more difficult to stop bleeding from an incision, but you're also likely to bleed faster than someone who isn't taking aspirin. For this reason, most surgeons will suggest that you don't take aspirin leading up to your surgery. It can take some time for blood to normalize after taking aspirin, so check with your doctor or dentist to make sure you've skipped it for long enough before having your procedure.
Just because you shouldn't be taking aspirin doesn't mean that you can't get pain relief. One common medication that's often recommended in times like these is acetaminophen, otherwise known as Tylenol. This pain reliever doesn't thin the blood and can be helpful in bringing down a fever and controlling pain.
Other medications you should avoid include NSAIDs like ibuprofen, which is also called Advil and Motrin. These can also cause bleeding, so it's wise to avoid them until your procedure is completed.
Oral surgery is typically extremely safe and rarely has any complications. By following your dentist's recommendations, you can prevent any unwanted issues from happening with your surgery and recovery. For now, skip the aspirin and make sure to check with your dentist to find out how soon you can start taking it again after having your wisdom teeth removed.