For some people dealing with what happens after pulling a tooth can be stressful. But by following what your dentist instructs you to do after tooth extraction process, you won’t have any stress and worries.

Why is tooth extraction done?

There are many reasons for pulling a tooth. Saving even one natural tooth is the first principle of any dentist. There are situations where teeth are so severely decayed or damaged that can’t be fixed anymore. A dentist comes to the point of extracting a tooth in cases when:

  • A tooth is completely worn down due to decay and cavities.
  • It is so seriously damaged because of trauma and injuries that the dentist sees that as unrestorable.
  • The tooth is infected and has caused damage to the pulp and nerves that even root canal treatment doesn’t bring back the tooth’s health.
  • Crowded teeth in the mouth don’t make enough room for normal eruption of teeth and interrupt orthodontic treatment.
  • Severe gum disease problems (periodontitis) or certain conditions like immune system diseases have impacted dental health and ultimately the need for a tooth extraction.

Care after a tooth extraction (dos and don’ts)

If you follow your dentist’s instructions on dos and don’ts around tooth extraction procedure, you will easily handle it with no difficulty. Pulling a tooth like all other surgeries has some simple home care. Your dentist will provide necessary tips before and after the procedure for you and they will help you with any unexpected problem.

So, if you follow tooth extraction aftercare tips, you may not need a late-night call to the general dentist. Common aftercare tips for simple extraction to heal are:

Bleeding/swelling tooth extraction aftercare

  • Your dentist gives you a gauze and you should bite down on the gauze pad for 30 minutes to 1 hour on the socket of the pulled tooth. This is to prevent bleeding. If your bleeding doesn’t stop, you will need second or third gauze packs.
  • A tea bag is also recommended as gauze pack to prevent bleeding. You should bite down on the tea bag for 30 minutes.
  • If bleeding doesn’t stop and it gets even more (you see large blood clots), call your dentist.
  • Use ice packs or frozen ice peas for 24 hours immediately after your tooth extraction procedure. This helps you manage swelling. Put them on and off at 20-minutes interval on your soft tissues. (Apply ice packs for 20 minutes then put it away for another 20 minutes. Do it throughout the day).
  • To prevent damage to your skin or soft tissue, ice packs or bags of frozen peas should not directly touch your skin. Use a thin piece of clean cloth in between.
  • Keep your head higher and upright while sleeping.

Eating tips for extraction aftercare

  • Avoid rough, hard, and hot foods and drinks. Eat soft liquid foods that are not hot and dont cause burns and irritation.
  • Eat and drink cold but not too cold foods and beverages (nonalcoholic) and have high intake of liquids by drinking more water and your favorite juice.
  • Don’t use a straw for drinking and avoid spitting out your saliva forcefully for 24 hours. Any mechanical force on your mouth causes more bleeding
  •  Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for a week.

Oral hygiene extraction aftercare

  • Use salt water rinse solution after 24 hours. Mix a half spoonful of salt in a mild warm glass of water and rinse your mouth gently.
  • Brushing and flossing should be avoided immediately after tooth extraction. This is to prevent damage to sutures and disruptions in healing time. As soon as healing is over, start your daily brushing. Use mouthwashes instead for oral hygiene routines until one week.
  • If you want to brush or floss your teeth, do it away from the tooth extraction site.
  • Use mouthwashes especially those containing hydrogen peroxide. Do not use mouthwashes containing alcohol.
  • Take painkillers as recommended by your dentist.
  • Avoid playing sports and doing exercises for some days.

How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction healing time takes a few days. If you take the necessary precautions, you will have a faster healing with minimum discomfort. By the end of the first week, you can get back to your normal diet and your daily lifestyle.
The first and second day is a critical period which you should be careful most. In case of fever, nonstop excessive bleeding, vomiting, nausea, and sharp continuous pain, better call your dentist.

How long will it hurt after tooth extraction?

You will feel the peak of your tooth extraction pain 12 hours after the surgery. You will not usually experience extreme pain more than two days. Keep in mind that pain of pulling a tooth is not usually severe and it can be managed easily by the instruction of your dentists or over-the-counter medication that dentists prescribe.

Frequently asked questions

How long does bleeding continue after a tooth extraction?

After pulling your tooth, the bleeding is normal and usually slow bleeding can take up to 12 hours to stop. You should hold gauze packs on your socket, which helps constrict the blood vessels.

what is the best pain medication after tooth extraction?

Use over-the-counter painkillers according to your dentist’s recommendation. Try to use acetaminophen or ibuprofen as the painkiller to relieve your pain. Remember that painkillers are just to eliminate your discomfort and pain disappears slowly on the first and second day of your procedure.

When is the best time to use painkillers after tooth extraction?

It usually takes up to 1 hour for an over-the-counter medication to have relieving effects, so managing this will help you overcome your pain easily. Your dentist uses general anesthesia to numb the site of your extraction area in your mouth.
So, it is clear that after removing the tooth, the effect of the local anesthetics will decrease. To prevent the pain from getting severe, your dentist may recommend over-the-counter painkillers before the effect of the surgical anesthesia disappears.

Is swelling normal after tooth extraction?

Yes, it is normal for your soft tissues around the tooth extraction site to swell. Usually, swelling occurs in multiple teeth extraction, but it can happen also in pulling a single tooth. It is a normal way of your soft tissue reaction to the damage of surgery to the area.
Keep your head in an upright position during your sleep with a few pillows under your head. The first 2 days after pulling your tooth is the peak for swelling. On the third day, swelling gradually decreases and disappears until the end of the week.

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