How long to use ibuprofen after wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth extraction is one of the most common dental procedures, and unfortunately, it can cause a fair amount of pain and discomfort. To manage this pain, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. But how long should you take ibuprofen after wisdom teeth extraction? That’s what we’ll explore in this article.

Why is Ibuprofen Recommended After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that helps reduce pain and inflammation, making it an effective painkiller. It’s often recommended after wisdom teeth extraction because it can help manage the pain and swelling associated with the procedure.

How Does Ibuprofen Work?

Ibuprofen works by blocking an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX). This enzyme is responsible for producing prostaglandins, which cause pain and inflammation. By blocking COX, ibuprofen reduces pain and inflammation.

How Long Should I Take Ibuprofen After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

The duration of ibuprofen use after wisdom teeth extraction depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the pain and the individual’s tolerance for pain. In general, it’s recommended that you take ibuprofen for at least the first two to three days after the procedure.

Beyond the first few days, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that you continue taking ibuprofen as needed. It’s important to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions closely, as taking too much ibuprofen can cause serious side effects.

How Much Ibuprofen Should I Take?

The recommended dosage of ibuprofen varies depending on the individual’s age and weight. In general, adults can take up to 800mg of ibuprofen every six hours, not to exceed 3200mg in 24 hours. Children under the age of 12 should not take ibuprofen without a doctor’s approval.

What Are the Side Effects of Ibuprofen?

While ibuprofen is generally safe when used as directed, it can cause side effects in some cases. These side effects can include stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness. In rare cases, ibuprofen can also cause more serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, liver damage, and kidney damage.

Can I Take Anything Else With Ibuprofen?

If ibuprofen alone isn’t managing your pain after wisdom teeth extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) in addition to ibuprofen. These two pain relievers work differently and can be taken together safely. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any additional medications.

When Should I Stop Taking Ibuprofen?

You should stop taking ibuprofen when your pain and swelling have subsided, or as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon. In general, it’s recommended that you take ibuprofen for no longer than 10 days.

What Should I Do If My Pain Persists?

If your pain and swelling continue beyond 10 days, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon for further evaluation. They may recommend a different pain management strategy or investigate underlying issues that may be causing your pain.


Ibuprofen is a safe and effective pain reliever that can help manage the pain and swelling associated with wisdom teeth extraction. While it’s generally recommended that you take ibuprofen for at least the first two to three days after the procedure, the duration of use may vary depending on your individual needs. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions closely and contact them if you have any questions or concerns.

Common Questions About Ibuprofen After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

  • Can I Take Ibuprofen on an Empty Stomach?
    Yes, you can take ibuprofen on an empty stomach. However, taking ibuprofen with food may help reduce your risk of stomach upset.
  • Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Ibuprofen?
    It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking ibuprofen, as it can increase your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects.
  • Is It Safe to Take Ibuprofen Long-Term?
    Long-term use of ibuprofen can increase your risk of side effects, including stomach bleeding, liver damage, and kidney damage. It’s generally recommended that you only use ibuprofen for short periods of time as needed.


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