You’ve had a toothache for weeks now, and it only gets worse. You’ve gone to the dentist several times, and nothing seems to rid you of the pain.
Finally, the dentist recommends you have the tooth removed. You’re shocked and wary. But what happens after your tooth is pulled?
Tooth extraction recovery requires special care. Just because the tooth is out of your mouth doesn’t mean the pain will stop.
While some soreness is normal, there are ways to reduce pain, heal faster, and minimize the risks of complications. Keep reading for our tooth extraction aftercare tips for healthy teeth.
What to Expect After Having a Tooth Extracted
Having a tooth extracted is an uncomfortable experience that can leave you feeling a bit sore afterward. The body takes between 1-2 weeks to heal, and it’s important to take it easy during this time. After the extraction, you may have some mild bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.
These symptoms should improve over the next few days. To ease the pain, you can use an ice pack or take over-the-counter pain relievers. If the healing process is not going as expected, it’s important to contact emergency dentistry near me to discuss any concerns.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips
Tooth extraction aftercare is critical for a successful recovery. Some of the things you can do to ensure a speedy healing process include:
After the procedure, it’s important to control the bleeding by placing a piece of gauze over the extraction site and biting down on it for at least 30 minutes.
This will help reduce the amount of bleeding and inflammation at the extraction site. It also helps prevent dry socket, which is a painful complication that can occur after tooth extraction.
It is recommended to avoid any activities that can cause physical stress and trauma to the area, such as strenuous exercise, contact sports, heavy lifting, or vigorous brushing. Bed rest, mild stretching, and light reading are all activities that will contribute to your recovery process.
Refrain from Smoking
Smoking can slow down the healing process since it affects circulation and increases the risk of infection. Smoking constricts blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen and other essential nutrients in the healing area.
Additionally, smoking can increase the risk of infection by taking away from the body’s ability to fight off outside threats like bacteria. For the best post-extraction outcome, individuals should not smoke for at least 72 hours or until any remaining discomfort has subsided.
Follow Dietary Restrictions
Avoid consuming hard, crunchy, or chewy foods. High-acidic items, like citrus foods and sodas, can irritate the area as well and should be avoided. The best way to ensure proper healing is to stick to soft foods and beverages.
Examples of soft foods are applesauce, mashed potatoes, soup, and ice cream. Certain liquids are also encouraged, such as plain water and teas.
Avoid drinking hot beverages, such as coffee and tea, as they may contribute to pain. Additionally, make sure to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C, to aid in the recovery process.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing to remove any remaining debris, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the risk of infection. Make sure you avoid using a straw when drinking liquids and avoid rinsing your mouth with water and salt immediately after the extraction.
Different Types of Pain Relief After a Tooth Extraction
The different types of pain relief after a tooth extraction include over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, as well as prescription versions of these drugs.
Other forms of pain relief are local anesthetics, such as lidocaine and bupivacaine, which are injected around the extraction site to numb the area. In some cases, a nerve block may be used to block out pain in the area completely.
Additionally, corticosteroids may be recommended for managing inflammation and swelling. Finally, for more severe cases of pain, a medication like hydrocodone or codeine may be prescribed for more robust pain relief.
All of these treatments are used in conjunction with a proper diet, rest, and other medications as prescribed by the dentist, so before taking any kind of medication, always consult with your dentist and follow their instructions.
Signs When to Consult a Dentist After Tooth Extraction
Signs that you should consult a dentist after a tooth extraction include the following:
Noticing Lingering Bleeding
After the initial procedure is finished, some blood is normal. However, if the blood doesn’t seem to be stopping or there is more coming than anticipated, consulting a dentist is a good idea. It may be a sign that a blood clot is not developing properly, which can lead to further complications.
If the pain persists and is unbearable, something else is likely going on inside your mouth. Whether it’s a dry socket or an infection, it is important to seek advice from your dentist. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Relentless toothache can be an indicator of a worse dental issue and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent increased discomfort and permanent damage.
Persistent Bad Breath
Infection of the gum may occur due to bacteria entering the empty place where the tooth was extracted, which can result in a foul smell. When extraction sites are not properly cared for after a tooth is removed, contamination of the socket can occur and result in accumulation at the root of the tooth, leading to bad breath.
Unfamiliar Taste and Sensation
If you experience an increase in pain or tenderness, or a salty, metallic taste when biting or drinking after an extraction, you should contact your dentist. It may be a sign that the healing process is not completed properly, and further treatment will be needed.
Long-Term Extraction Aftercare Guidelines
Tooth extraction is a common procedure with a relatively short recovery time. Following the aftercare tips of keeping your head elevated, taking painkillers as needed, keeping the gauze in place, and avoiding smoking and drinking, can help the healing process go more smoothly.
To ensure safe and successful tooth surgery, be sure to consult your doctor and follow their instructions.
Tooth extraction is only the beginning of a total health journey. Take the time to continue reading our blog for more health and wellness ideas.