Tooth Extraction Aftercare: Here’s What You Need To Do

Having a tooth pulled is never an enjoyable experience. Still, there are some general tried and true instructions about tooth extraction aftercare. Here are the best ways to recover from a tooth extraction.

Why Are Tooth Extractions Necessary?

Common reasons for tooth extraction include overcrowding, infection, decay beyond repair, or a badly damaged tooth. Of course, your dentist prefers to save your tooth rather than pull it, but there are times when having a tooth pulled is the only option.

Your dentist will choose between one of two types of tooth extractions: simple and surgical. Simple extractions can be done when the tooth is visible above the gumline. After your mouth is numb from a local anesthetic, your dentist will likely use a tool called an elevator to help lift your tooth and its roots out of your jawbone and gums.

Surgical extractions are used when a tooth is impacted or growing at an odd angle without breaking through the gums. Impactions often occur with wisdom teeth. Here, your dentist may sedate you or even use general anesthesia and will need to make an incision in your gum to get to the rogue tooth. Your dentist may also need to use a drill to get all the tooth out. You may also require a few stitches in the gum tissue.

What Should You Do After Your Tooth Extraction?

You will probably feel a bit under the weather for the first 24-48 hours after a simple tooth extraction. After all, you’ve undergone an invasive procedure, and your body will be in a bit of shock. If you’ve had multiple teeth removed, it will likely take you up to a whole week to feel better. Here are some essential steps to promote healing and ease discomfort.

Leave the Gauze on the Site as Instructed

Your dentist won’t let you go home immediately after your procedure. Instead, they will keep you until the bleeding of the surgical site has stopped. You must leave the gauze pad on the affected area to protect it from infection, especially with wisdom tooth removal, to ensure a blood clot has formed over the wound. Don’t worry if you experience some mild oozing of blood for several hours. Replace the gauze pad as needed. Should the extraction site begin bleeding excessively, fold one of the gauze pads in half, place it on the site and bite firmly for about half an hour. If bleeding is prolonged, call your dentist.

The peril of the clot dislodging or not forming correctly will create an unpleasant and painful condition called a dry socket. If a dry socket occurs, it will be very painful—contact your dentist immediately.

Get Plenty of Rest

Especially in the first 24 hours after dental extraction, rest and relax as much as possible. If your dentist has prescribed pain medications, be sure and take them as directed. This will help you get the relief and rest your body needs.

Apply Ice Packs to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation and swelling are side effects of tooth extraction or other oral surgery. Inflammation can also slow healing time, so it’s essential to manage it well. To keep swelling and bruising down and to help reduce pain, an ice pack will be one of your best friends.

Watch What You Eat

Soft foods are the best for you after a dental extraction. You can eat solid foods such as soft puddings, custard, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or pureed soup. Drinking plenty of water is also recommended to keep your body well hydrated. Just be sure not to use a straw, as the suction could dislodge that precious and protective blood clot.

Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and hot drinks for the first several days. And when you’re finally off soft foods, chew with your other teeth, not on the side of the extraction site.

Take Your Prescribed Medication

If your dentist has prescribed medication, such as antibiotics or tablets for pain management, be sure to take them as directed. Prescription pain medication is usually needed for just a few days and, after that, can be replaced with paracetamol. If you experience any unusual symptoms or experience severe pain, get in touch with your dentist immediately.

Keep Your Oral Cavity Clean

You can brush and floss the day after your dental procedure. You will also need to gently rinse your mouth with a salt solution in warm water to keep harmful bacteria at bay and prevent infection. The solution also speeds up the healing process. Do these rinses three to four times daily until the extraction site heals.

Faster Healing

Like any post-operative care, caring for your mouth and extraction site ensures you a speedy recovery. Follow what your dentist recommends about changing out the gauze pads. Ice your cheek and jaw to lessen pain, swelling, and bruising, and take good care to not dislodge the blood clot which will form on the extraction sites. Take your medications as directed. Continue good oral hygiene practices, including gentle brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

Do you or your loved ones require tooth extraction? Contact Lexington Dental today to learn more.

More to explorer

Lexington Dental