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Can You Leave Ice on Too Long After Dental Work?


Posted on 9/15/2019 by Water's Edge Dental
Can You Leave Ice on Too Long After Dental Work?Dental work makes many people nervous. Many times, your dental work can cause your face to swell in the area where the work took place. This is a normal result of the work, and you should not be alarmed. As a matter of fact, there are steps you can take to minimize the swelling that occurs after most procedures.

If we expect that you will experience swelling, we will let you know. The easiest way to minimize the swelling is to use ice packs. Keep in mind that after about 72 hours, the swelling should be going down if it hasn't gone down already.

How Do I Safely Fix the Swelling?

Swelling is your body's way of reacting to what it considers an injury. The beginning of swelling is redness, heat, and a little pain near the area that was “damaged.” The redness and the heat are your body moving more blood to the area. The swelling is your body sending white blood cells with the blood to repair that area. This is known as an inflammatory response. You want to do something that is an anti-inflammatory response because the swelling is what causes the pain in the area. Ice will act as your anti-inflammatory response.

As soon as you can, you should begin the process. Use ice packs or frozen peas and wrap them in a thin cloth so it doesn't directly touch your skin. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then take it off for another 15 minutes. Do this as often as possible, over and over, on the first day.

What is important to know is that you can overdo it. If you leave the ice on for too long, you can damage the skin. If you don't put a cloth between the skin and the ice, you can get frostbite. After the second day, using ice does nothing and could actually reverse the effect of the icing.

After the second day, you should apply heat instead to increase the circulation and bring down the swelling. Do not apply anything hot enough to burn your skin. Give us a call if you'd like further information.
Water’s Edge Dental
6657 N. Glenwood Street, Boise, ID 83714
(208) 391-8554

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