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Ibuprofen safety question



Well-known member
Aug 13, 2014
The dentist recommended taking ibuprofen to help with the jaw-clenching soreness and the bit of swelling of the gum around my wisdom tooth. She also said she and her husband, the dentist who will be removing my two left wisdom teeth next week, often recommend taking OTC ibuprofen and acetaminophen together after wisdom teeth extraction because they seem to work better at controlling discomfort than prescription narcotic pain relievers.

My question is about the safety of ibuprofen. In the past couple of years or so, there've been reports on ibuprofen increasing risk of heart attack and stroke, but they never exactly specify how great the risk is and at what dose/frequency. I've even seen black box warnings on the bottles. Some reports sort of suggest small or short-term doses of ibuprofen are quite risky. Is that true? The information is so confusing and it makes me nervous about occasionally taking even one or two 200 mg pills a day.
Not a dentist but living in a country where Ibuprofen is the go to painkiller for any kind of pain. The usual dose people take for headaches / period pain etc. is about 400mg, and it is the standard painkiller after dental procedures. It‘s not the best one for the stomach so it should always be taken with at least a bit food but that‘s all. If the report you‘re talking about is right then my whole country will get into problems.
I’m not a dentist, but here is what I know and my experience. All NSAIDs (ibuprofen is in this category) may have some increased risk of heart attack or stroke. That said, like Enarete, I also live in a country (US) where ibuprofen is the go-to OTC pain med. I don’t take narcotics so, after my wisdom teeth extractions, I took 800mg ibuprofen every 8 hours and 500-1000 mg acetaminophen 2-3 times a day. I alternated when I would take them. I got good pain coverage and anti-inflammatory effects this way. All that being said, if you have any concerns about this, your primary care doctor should be able to give you advice specific to any health risks you may have.