Imagine that you’re feeling a throbbing pain in your mouth, and after visiting your dentist, you discover your tooth is beyond repair and needs to be extracted. It may sound daunting, but tooth extraction is a common dental procedure. In fact, 74% of adults have had their teeth extracted at least once in their lifetime. Knowledge of tooth extraction aftercare is important to speed up the healing process. Let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts to ensure quick and hassle-free recovery after tooth removal.
What to Expect During the Recovery Period After a Tooth Extraction?
The recovery time of tooth extraction entirely depends upon the complexity of your case. However, in most cases, people feel back to normal in just a few days. While you can return to routine activities within 48 to 72 hours, healing the jawbone usually takes several weeks. If you plan on replacing the tooth with a dental implant, you’ll probably need to wait a few months to recover fully.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips for the First Two Days
The first couple of days following tooth extraction are crucial for healing. Here are some tips to help you take care of the area:
- Get plenty of rest: Resting for at least the first 24 hours after the extraction is essential.
- Change the gauze as necessary: Leave the first gauze in the mouth for a few hours to allow the clot to form. After this, change the gauze as often as needed.
- Avoid rinsing: Rinsing, swishing, or gargling anything in the mouth while the area is still clotting can dislodge the clot and affect healing time.
- Do not use straws or smoke: Using a straw or smoking can place a lot of pressure on the healing wound, which can easily dislodge the blood clot.
- Use pain relievers: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort.
- Apply cold compresses: Placing a towel-wrapped bag of ice or an ice pack on the affected area for 10-20 minutes may help to alleviate pain.
- Elevate the head: While sleeping, use extra pillows to elevate the head. This can prevent blood from pooling in the head and help speed healing.
- Take any medications that the dentist recommends: Completing the full course of treatment, including prescribed medications, is essential.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips for Days Three to Ten
Once the clot has formed, taking necessary precautions to ensure its stability and following additional steps to maintain oral hygiene to prevent further complications is crucial.
- Saline rinses: Gently rinse the mouth with a warm saline solution or a pinch of salt in warm water to kill bacteria and prevent infections.
- Brush and floss as usual: Brush and floss the teeth as usual, but avoid the extracted tooth.
- Eat soft foods: Stick to soft foods that do not require a lot of chewing and are unlikely to become trapped in the empty socket, such as soups, yogurt, and applesauce. Steer clear of hard foods like toast, chips, and foods containing seeds.
Aftercare for Multiple Teeth Extraction
If dental surgeons need to extract more than one tooth, they are more likely to recommend general anesthesia. As a result, the person will be unconscious during the entire procedure. The dentist will also give them additional tooth extraction aftercare instructions for the period.
Aftercare for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Usually, wisdom tooth extraction is performed on young people so they can recover quickly. However, the healing time for this type of extraction may be longer than that of a regular tooth, necessitating more time off work or school.
The surgery typically involves removing multiple teeth and may require general anesthesia. Dentists may also use techniques like dissolvable stitches or clotting aids to promote healing.
While tooth extraction aftercare for wisdom teeth is similar to other teeth, dentists may offer additional tips to aid healing. So, if you’re scheduled for a wisdom teeth extraction or have just undergone the procedure, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for proper aftercare.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare for Children
When extracting a tooth from a child, the procedure may differ slightly. Dentists typically use general anesthesia to put children under during the extraction, meaning the child will be unconscious and feel nothing throughout the procedure.
However, the healing process is similar, and parents or caregivers must closely monitor the child’s recovery and oral health, asking about any symptoms like pain and bleeding.
Home Remedies for Alleviating the Pain of Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s common to experience pain and swelling. Luckily, some home remedies can help ease the pain at each stage of the healing process. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) may help reduce swelling and pain.
Applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected side for 20 minutes may also reduce pain and swelling. Additionally, incorporating salt water rinses into daily oral care can help eliminate bacteria in the mouth and reduce swelling and pain.
Foods You Can Eat After a Tooth Extraction
For tooth extraction aftercare, you can add soft foods like soup, pudding, yogurt, and applesauce to your diet plan. While incorporating smoothies into your diet, it’s important to note that you should consume it with a spoon.
After your tooth extraction site starts to heal, you can incorporate more solid foods into your diet, but it’s safe to continue with the soft foods diet plan for a week after your extraction.
When Should You Visit Your Dentist?
The duration of the normal healing process can vary depending on factors like age and smoking status and may take up to 10 days. However, if a person experiences
- worsening pain and swelling.
- bleeding that doesn’t improve over time.
- a high fever.
- nausea or vomiting.
- severe pain spreading to the ear.
- or drainage from the wound that tastes or smells unpleasant.