To Beer or not to...
February 3, 2009 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Is it safe to drink alcohol after a cavity filling?

My friends and I are going out for a drink tomorrow, but Im getting a filling around 2pm. If I were to drink it probably wouldn't be until 7 or 8. My drinking usually encompasses beer. Is it safe to drink?
posted by Groovytimes to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
Yes, there should be no problem at all presuming you are just getting the standard novocain for pain.
posted by jessamyn at 8:55 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's not the filling you have to worry about, it's interactions with any anesthetics the dentist might give you beforehand, or painkillers he may give you after. If he gives you something that won't mix with alcohol, he should tell you that.

In other words, ask first. If you want to drink 5 hours later, just tell him that up front, and he won't give you anything that will cause bad reactions, whether that's a different anesthetic or none at all.

Spirits are better than beer. They'll kill bacteria: you can swish them around wounds. :)
posted by rokusan at 8:57 PM on February 3, 2009

Oh god, novocain wears off in about two hours or so. Nothing to worry about.

That said, I just had a monster of a filling put in, and after the novocain wore off my mouth kind of hurt, especially when drinking cold liquids like beer.

So you may wish to pop 3 Ibuprofen tablets before going out drinking, just to be on the safe side.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 PM on February 3, 2009

If you're going through the DTs, it's not safe not to drink.

Ask your dentist and if it isn't, just have soda or lemonade. Don't drink alcohol and use ibuprofen, though. I understand it's bad for the liver. I'm sure that KokuRyu was joking but it's not like there's a tag for sarcasm.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 9:21 PM on February 3, 2009

Ask your dentist when you get your filling done if you're still unsure after the answers in this thread.
posted by kdar at 9:22 PM on February 3, 2009

Re: ibuprofen and beer:
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may cause ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the stomach or intestine. These problems may develop at any time during treatment, may happen without warning symptoms, and may cause death. The risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time, are older in age, have poor health, or who drink three or more alcoholic drinks per day while taking ibuprofen.
not your dentist, not your doctor, not your pharmacist
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:29 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

So you may wish to pop 3 Ibuprofen tablets before going out drinking, just to be on the safe side.

Yeah, or not.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:37 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

The only problem I've encountered is trying to drink when your lips are still numb from the freezing. By the time you expect to go out, that shouldn't pose a problem though.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 9:44 PM on February 3, 2009

Ask your dentist when you get your filling done if you're still unsure after the answers in this thread.

Dude, ask your dentist instead of listening to the answers in this thread!

posted by rokusan at 9:51 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wasn't being sarcastic. Thanks to a stressful job (and, more recently, some dental work) I live on Ibuprofen. They say it can cause an upset stomach, but I haven't experienced that. And my hangover cure is Tums + water + Ibuprofen immediately after returning home after drinking (ie, I still have significant amounts of alcohol in my system) so I can't see why Ibuprofen would be a problem.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:43 PM on February 3, 2009

As a NSAID, ibuprofen can be hard on the stomach, like Fiasco mentions, but it is generally safe re: the liver and drinking, christhelongtimelurker. You're probably thinking of acetaminophen, which can be very hard on the liver and should not be mixed with alcohol.

3 ibuprofens seems like a little bit of overkill though...
posted by folara at 11:04 PM on February 3, 2009

It's pretty damn safe. Just be sure to listen to your stomach if you are taking Ibuprofen. If it starts hurting, or you start spitting up blood - then stop!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:20 PM on February 3, 2009

I mentioned this to my dentist once, I think it was after I'd had the filling (a friend was having a celebration that evening and I wanted to go and have a drink). He said 'if you can keep it in your mouth, you can drink it'.

Sure enough, the anaesthetic hadn't worn off properly and actually closing my mouth effectively enough to swallow liquids was the main problem.

Ask your dentist, preferably before the procedure. He/she will have heard it many times before.
posted by altolinguistic at 2:59 AM on February 4, 2009

Response by poster: We ended up drinking beer, thanks everyone!
posted by Groovytimes at 3:21 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

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