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Should I be telling my dentist about my painkiller addiction???

J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
Hi , just started on here the other day..it's great that I can talk and ask questions about my situation, problems and of course my anxiety issues
So as some of you know I went to the dentist for the first time in 30 years on Wednesday 🥺 totally full blown anxiety levels of the scales but I went and had examination and x-rays.....
They gave me a form to fill out such as name address etc .. medical questions aswell .... But I didn't write on my addiction problem to painkiller medication ,, I don't know why ,,, I panicked abit tbh ....I did say was being treated for anxiety and depression......
I currently taken roughly between 55 & 65 Co -Codamol tablets a week (they are paracetamol & Codiene dissolvable tablets) ...& Maybe up to 10 Neurofen tablets aswell (paracetamol & ibuprofen tablets)....have been battling this for sometime now .....have been trying to reduce my intake of these now for the past 2 weeks ..because I want to get my teeth fixed ...tho I think I need more time to get off these before starting major work on my mouth by the dentist ...stomach is not great at the minute
With the stress of seeing the dentist & my situation with the painkillers ...stomach is a mess

Should I say to the dentist at my appointment today ? Don't know how to ..bit of a mess at the minute...sorry for the long write up 🤦🥺
 
K

Katie7730

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
64
Hi , just started on here the other day..it's great that I can talk and ask questions about my situation, problems and of course my anxiety issues
So as some of you know I went to the dentist for the first time in 30 years on Wednesday 🥺 totally full blown anxiety levels of the scales but I went and had examination and x-rays.....
They gave me a form to fill out such as name address etc .. medical questions aswell .... But I didn't write on my addiction problem to painkiller medication ,, I don't know why ,,, I panicked abit tbh ....I did say was being treated for anxiety and depression......
I currently taken roughly between 55 & 65 Co -Codamol tablets a week (they are paracetamol & Codiene dissolvable tablets) ...& Maybe up to 10 Neurofen tablets aswell (paracetamol & ibuprofen tablets)....have been battling this for sometime now .....have been trying to reduce my intake of these now for the past 2 weeks ..because I want to get my teeth fixed ...tho I think I need more time to get off these before starting major work on my mouth by the dentist ...stomach is not great at the minute
With the stress of seeing the dentist & my situation with the painkillers ...stomach is a mess

Should I say to the dentist at my appointment today ? Don't know how to ..bit of a mess at the minute...sorry for the long write up 🤦🥺

Good morning, just wanted to say good luck today! Let us know how you get on and what they say about that wisdom tooth!
I’m not sure on the ‘proper’ answer about the painkillers but at this point I’m not sure if it impacts the treatment at all so I think if you feel uncomfortable talking about that then I personally wouldn’t.
What mg of codeine is it you’re taking? I had the 30/500 tablets when I had bad toothache and I was taking probably 10 a day. I think maybe the GP might be a good option to discuss ways to come off them safely and how to wean off them.
Best of luck today!
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,011
Hi Jay45169,

first of all: I am so glad that you feel safe enough to post your question here and the question itself shows how curageous, brave and motivated you are.

When it comes to medical forms, I appreciate your reluctance to disclose this fact and it‘s understandable: you are scared of the dentist, have zero trust in your dental team (yet), everything is overwhelming, you feel not really in control, you don‘t know what awaits you, maybe you even feel some shame or embarrassment. And then there is this medical form that expects you to disclose the most intimate details of your life within five minutes before you even got a chance to talk to someone. That‘s hard. It won‘t surprise you that the most people do not feel comfortable sharing ANYTHING about their mental health issues. So if you shared depression and anxiety, you are a champ already :you-rock:.

AND: if you are considering disclosing about your painkiller addiction, that only shows that you started to trust them a little bit more. It‘s ok not to trust straight away.

Painkiller addiction is very common and it is one of those that people very rarely disclose so the most professionals are rather trained to watch for signs and find a way to get the information in a gentle way. You don‘t have to feel bad for feeling uncomfortable to tell your dentist. They will understand and they won‘t think badly about you. On the contrary: I am sure they will really appreciate your openness and honesty and will be happy that they managed to gain your trust enough for you to be able to tell them. You may shoot them an email or tell them personally, or tell a nurse that you trust, or a receptionist.. you could also ask them to give you back your medical form so that you could note down something you have forgotten last time.. whatever way suits you.

Pragmatically, I think it would be very sensible to let them know so that they can factor it in for any procedure. It may be that you would need another kind of anesthetic or could have a different kind of reaction or should you ever need antibiotics, maybe your dentist can chose some that are more gentle to your stomach, so I am sure your dentist would like to know. They will be able to treat you more as a person and look after you even better if they know all details.

This is legthy already, but let me tell you that I really admire your courage. :love: You deserve the best care and your dentist must be honored to be the one to support you on your journey.

All the best wishes and let us know how you got on! :)
 
J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
Good morning, just wanted to say good luck today! Let us know how you get on and what they say about that wisdom tooth!
I’m not sure on the ‘proper’ answer about the painkillers but at this point I’m not sure if it impacts the treatment at all so I think if you feel uncomfortable talking about that then I personally wouldn’t.
What mg of codeine is it you’re taking? I had the 30/500 tablets when I had bad toothache and I was taking probably 10 a day. I think maybe the GP might be a good option to discuss ways to come off them safely and how to wean off them.
Best of luck today!
Thanks Katie for the response back & feedback .... Well I went this morning we just looked over my x-rays and he's planned out the work that needs done 🥺in capital letters ANXIETY HITS HOME 🥺🤦....crowns, a few extractions and some planning for bridges to get me a smile in the new year , going to be a good few months of appointments nxt year🤦🥺.. from what he was saying
I told him about my painkiller problem ..he just said to be careful & asked about my liver ..but I haven't had a blood test in a while,, tho I have cut down on them over the past 2 weeks because I new I had to make an appointment with the dentist ...they weren't high dosage like yours just over the counter 15-500 I think

& I mentioned my wisdom tooth to him and said this was the only one that's was giving me trouble .... And if it was possible to have it removed before Xmas ,, so I can enjoy my family meal and beer 🍻 lol ..didn't want to be worried & miserable over the holidays nothing worse

So he's booked me in for Wednesday at 1:30 🥺 .. wow this is gonna be my very first tooth extraction from a dentist since I was a kid ... I'll be very worried and anxious Def tbh ...but he was just like it was nothing all in a day's work for him ....while iam climbing MOUNT ANXIETY
 
J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
Hi Jay45169,

first of all: I am so glad that you feel safe enough to post your question here and the question itself shows how curageous, brave and motivated you are.

When it comes to medical forms, I appreciate your reluctance to disclose this fact and it‘s understandable: you are scared of the dentist, have zero trust in your dental team (yet), everything is overwhelming, you feel not really in control, you don‘t know what awaits you, maybe you even feel some shame or embarrassment. And then there is this medical form that expects you to disclose the most intimate details of your life within five minutes before you even got a chance to talk to someone. That‘s hard. It won‘t surprise you that the most people do not feel comfortable sharing ANYTHING about their mental health issues. So if you shared depression and anxiety, you are a champ already :you-rock:.

AND: if you are considering disclosing about your painkiller addiction, that only shows that you started to trust them a little bit more. It‘s ok not to trust straight away.

Painkiller addiction is very common and it is one of those that people very rarely disclose so the most professionals are rather trained to watch for signs and find a way to get the information in a gentle way. You don‘t have to feel bad for feeling uncomfortable to tell your dentist. They will understand and they won‘t think badly about you. On the contrary: I am sure they will really appreciate your openness and honesty and will be happy that they managed to gain your trust enough for you to be able to tell them. You may shoot them an email or tell them personally, or tell a nurse that you trust, or a receptionist.. you could also ask them to give you back your medical form so that you could note down something you have forgotten last time.. whatever way suits you.

Pragmatically, I think it would be very sensible to let them know so that they can factor it in for any procedure. It may be that you would need another kind of anesthetic or could have a different kind of reaction or should you ever need antibiotics, maybe your dentist can chose some that are more gentle to your stomach, so I am sure your dentist would like to know. They will be able to treat you more as a person and look after you even better if they know all details.

This is legthy already, but let me tell you that I really admire your courage. :love: You deserve the best care and your dentist must be honored to be the one to support you on your journey.

All the best wishes and let us know how you got on! :)
A really really appreciate that response from you Enarete thank you so much for your kind words ,,,
well I did tell him today about my addiction but he was fairly cam about it tbh ,,tho he did ask about my liver function.... and tbh I haven't went for a blood test in a while 🤦 so I didn't know ..... He gave me antibiotics today for my wisdom tooth so I've started them now ,, 3 a day for a week
And iam booked in to get my first tooth extraction 🥺🥺 on Wednesday 1:30 , top left wisdom tooth that has a large cavity in it and giving me a little trouble , so didn't really want to chance it getting worse over the Xmas holidays ...I want to enjoy my turkey family dinner and beer 🍻not sitting worried and in bad pain
I've alot of work ahead in plans that he showed me today for the new year ..that include crowns, more extractions and bridges 🤦 big big thing for me tho not looking forward to the huge ANXIETY, not eating and sleepless nights

And thanks once again Enarete 👍..... I'll stay in touch with all of you and see how things go nxt Wednesday and how iam feeling 🥺
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,387
I second everything Enerete said, and also want to say I am glad your appointment went well! I had my first “adult” tooth extraction two years ago and I was a mess with anxiety as I had terrible extraction experiences as a child. It went so much better than I had expected. The whole experience from start to healing was easier than I thought it would be. So hopefully your experience will be like that as well.
Just wanted to add that you probably want to make an appointment with your GP to get your liver function checked. I had a ton of dental work done over the last two years. I took a lot of ibuprofen at first, and ended up with a stomach ulcer from it. That took a long time to heal, and I was advised to stay away from ibuprofen from now on. Then I was taking tylenol (same as paracetamol) and when I mentioned it to my doctor at my next visit she wanted to do a blood test to check my liver. It was fine but apparently too much of the acetaminophen meds can be really dangerous for your liver. So be safe and get it checked! I practically lived on the over the counter pain medicine for two years while going through constant dental issues so I understand where you are coming from. It was the only way to get through the day. The ulcer really woke me up to the dangers. I had never really thought about it before that.
 
J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
I second everything Enerete said, and also want to say I am glad your appointment went well! I had my first “adult” tooth extraction two years ago and I was a mess with anxiety as I had terrible extraction experiences as a child. It went so much better than I had expected. The whole experience from start to healing was easier than I thought it would be. So hopefully your experience will be like that as well.
Just wanted to add that you probably want to make an appointment with your GP to get your liver function checked. I had a ton of dental work done over the last two years. I took a lot of ibuprofen at first, and ended up with a stomach ulcer from it. That took a long time to heal, and I was advised to stay away from ibuprofen from now on. Then I was taking tylenol (same as paracetamol) and when I mentioned it to my doctor at my next visit she wanted to do a blood test to check my liver. It was fine but apparently too much of the acetaminophen meds can be really dangerous for your liver. So be safe and get it checked! I practically lived on the over the counter pain medicine for two years while going through constant dental issues so I understand where you are coming from. It was the only way to get through the day. The ulcer really woke me up to the dangers. I had never really thought about it before that.
Thanks for your advice and words ...

hope it goes smooth to , well actually praying it does, anxiety at the start of the week will be climbing 😳😳
..tbh I've been taken the painkillers for nearly 15+ years 🤦 I know my stomach isn't great tbh well abit of a mess ....think its been a year when I've last had my liver results checked ... slightly high the last time but nothing serious surprisingly the doctor said ....tho the alcohol on top doesn't help much either ...ye I was on the ibuprofen at the start ...packets of them because I injured discs in my back ...that started the whole painkiller addiction

I've alot more dental work after this wisdom tooth extraction on Wednesday ....but not until start of new year sometime ...so I'll be still taking pills for pain and stuff ..but hopefully when it's done I can get off them in the future ..trying just to control my levels and bring them down abit while they fix my mouth.... The anxiety thinking about these things wrecks my brain
 
K

Katie7730

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
64
Thanks Katie for the response back & feedback .... Well I went this morning we just looked over my x-rays and he's planned out the work that needs done 🥺in capital letters ANXIETY HITS HOME 🥺🤦....crowns, a few extractions and some planning for bridges to get me a smile in the new year , going to be a good few months of appointments nxt year🤦🥺.. from what he was saying
I told him about my painkiller problem ..he just said to be careful & asked about my liver ..but I haven't had a blood test in a while,, tho I have cut down on them over the past 2 weeks because I new I had to make an appointment with the dentist ...they weren't high dosage like yours just over the counter 15-500 I think

& I mentioned my wisdom tooth to him and said this was the only one that's was giving me trouble .... And if it was possible to have it removed before Xmas ,, so I can enjoy my family meal and beer 🍻 lol ..didn't want to be worried & miserable over the holidays nothing worse

So he's booked me in for Wednesday at 1:30 🥺 .. wow this is gonna be my very first tooth extraction from a dentist since I was a kid ... I'll be very worried and anxious Def tbh ...but he was just like it was nothing all in a day's work for him ....while iam climbing MOUNT ANXIETY

I’m so glad you’re getting it done before Christmas though. You’ll have time to heal up a good bit before Christmas Day and not have that pain and worry hanging over you any longer with that tooth. Every small step in the right direction is progress!
I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to mention your painkillers, I think it’s the paracetamol long term can damage the liver but I know how sometimes they’re needed to get through the day!
No root canals?! Lol 🤪 I couldn’t believe I just needed a root canal after dragging myself to this place every 6 months, and doing everything in the plan!
Are you nhs or private by the way?
 
J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
I’m so glad you’re getting it done before Christmas though. You’ll have time to heal up a good bit before Christmas Day and not have that pain and worry hanging over you any longer with that tooth. Every small step in the right direction is progress!
I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to mention your painkillers, I think it’s the paracetamol long term can damage the liver but I know how sometimes they’re needed to get through the day!
No root canals?! Lol 🤪 I couldn’t believe I just needed a root canal after dragging myself to this place every 6 months, and doing everything in the plan!
Are you nhs or private by the way?
Oh think he said one root canal katie🥺🤦...iam NHS Katie
 
B

BlacJAC

Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
31
Location
UK
It's not the codeine or ibuprofen you have to be careful about, it's the paracetamol. Not saying the other 2 drugs don't do stuff to your body, because they do, but it is the paracetamol that can impact your liver greatly.

I was on co-codamol for a good while due to back issues and not gonna lie, it can get rough coming off them. But you have to wean your body off the dependancy and not go full cold turkey. You really need to seek help so you can do this safely and in a controlled manner. weaning is still no walk in the park, but it's both safer and a bit more bearable than cold turkey. My worse symptoms were restless legs (that was horrid) and toilet issues. Your stomach issues are probably caused by the ibuprofen. You need to watch you don't get an ulcer. They can also cause acid reflux which in itself can cause dental problems.
 
J

Jay45169

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
United Kingdom
Ye it is tough ...tried before a good while ago tbh.... starting to reduce now for abit ..after taking 8-10 every day for a very very long time ,,iam trying 3-4 now . Had the restless legs last night 🥺 .... And the toilet issues aswell has happend ,, nightmare .....and then the stress and anxiety of the dentist aswell doesn't help 🤦🤦🤦🤦
 
M

MissM250

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
120
Location
Victoria
Wow, I could have written that myself, but I was so so bad. At one point, I was taking up to 30 tylenol 1 ( I think it's like your Co-Codamol) in a day, so I was taking HUNDEREDS a week. I went off them about 3 years ago. The hardest part was the headaches. I did go cold turkey off them, but I don't recommend it unless you have a lot of support. Slowly wean down off them. You will be amazed how nice it is to not think about them. I'm actually to the point now where I can take one or 2 for severe pain, and don't want any more. I hope you find peace with this, life is lovely on the other side :) I did end up with some liver issues, but those are getting taken care of slowly as well.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,011
Ye it is tough ...tried before a good while ago tbh.... starting to reduce now for abit ..after taking 8-10 every day for a very very long time ,,iam trying 3-4 now . Had the restless legs last night 🥺 .... And the toilet issues aswell has happend ,, nightmare .....and then the stress and anxiety of the dentist aswell doesn't help 🤦🤦🤦🤦
@Katie7730 suggested contacting your GP to get help with this and I thought that was a really good idea. It must be defeating trying this hard, reducing, dealing with the side effects, falling back eventually. You don't have to deal with this on your own. If you would like to get some additional help and information, here is a UK site that provides information and support for all addiction-related topics: https://www.recovery.org.uk
 
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