Many patients tend to avoid getting a tooth extraction and if it is necessary, we generally recommend saving the biological tooth. However, in some situations, the alternative may be dental extraction or tooth removal. Several potential causes for dental extraction exist, such as serious damage to the tooth, orthodontic treatment, some serious gum infection and irregular tooth growth. All of these prompts the more important aspect of tooth removal, i.e. tooth extraction aftercare and its significance in curbing further damage or reoccurrence of tooth related issues.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare and its Importance
Depending on a few variables, aftercare can differ slightly for an extracted tooth. These include which tooth the dentist has taken out as some teeth have deeper roots and take longer to recover than others. Most individuals find, however, that pain decreases after about 3 days. Maintaining the blood clot that occurs in the socket where the tooth used to be is one of the most significant aspects of aftercare. It is necessary for the healing process to take care of this blood clot and it helps avoid painful complications, such as dry sockets.
First Couple of Days Care
Most of the tooth extraction care focuses on allowing a blood clot to form and caring for the mouth in general in the first couple of days after an extraction.
Low level bleeding for up to 24 hours after extraction is perfectly common, as some experts note. Active bleeding after this stage, however, requires care.
For the first 2 days of aftercare, here are a few additional tips:
- Get plenty of rest: Wait for at least the first 24 hours after the extraction to rest.
- Change the gauze as necessary: To allow the clot to form, it is vital to leave the first gauze in the mouth for at least a few hours. It is fine to adjust the gauze as much as appropriate after this.
- Stop rinsing: Avoid rinsing, swishing or gargling anything in the mouth while the region is still coagulating, as tempting as it may be. Such acts can dislodge any clot that is forming and affect the time of healing.
- Do not spit: spitting often causes pressure in the mouth, which can make the blood clot dislodge.
- Avoid blowing the nose or sneezing: If we remove a tooth from the upper half of the mouth, blowing the nose or sneezing may create pressure in the head that may dislodge the blood clot that is forming.
- Do not smoke: smoking produces the same pressure in your mouth as using a straw. Although it is best to stop smoking during the whole healing process it is important not to smoke during the first few days as the blood clot is formed.
- Take pain relievers: over-the-counter pain relievers can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Use cold compresses: placing an ice pack or a towel-wrapped bag of ice in the area for 10–20 minutes at a time can help to dull pain and reduce the swelling after tooth extraction.
- Take medications that we recommend: We can order prescription medications for complex removals as it is highly recommended to complete the full treatment process.
Days 3 to 10
After the clot has developed, it is important to keep it safely in place and to take some additional precautions for oral hygiene to help avoid further problems.
Aftercare tips between the third and the 10th day include:
- Salt rinse:
- When the clot is safely in place, gently rinse the mouth with a hot salt solution or a pinch of salt in warm water. This mixture helps destroy bacteria in the mouth that can avoid infection when the mouth heals.
- Wash and floss as usual: brush and floss your teeth as usual, but be careful not to extract the tooth. The saline solution and any medicated mouthwash recommended by us should be sufficient to clean this area.
- Eat soft food: During the healing process, people can eat soft foods that do not need a lot of chewing and are unlikely to be stuck in an empty socket which could bring back memories of the tooth extraction pain. Try sticking to soups, yoghurt, apple sauce and similar food. Stop hard bread, chips, and food containing seed.
When to Visit us?
Depending on a number of factors such as the age of a person and if they smoke, the usual healing process can take up to 10 days.
Signs that a dentist should be seen by an individual include:
- Pressure and swelling, which over time gets worse
- Bleeding, which over time does not change
- An elevated fever
- Sickness or vomiting
- Extreme discomfort that spreads to the ear
- Drainage from a wound which smells or tastes foul
Main reason for tooth extraction is to remove a problematic tooth entirely to avoid potential problems. Proper aftercare is important after a tooth extraction, as it helps to facilitate clotting and protect the extraction area during the tooth extraction healing process. Within 7 to 10 days, most simple extractions can heal. After a tooth extraction, anyone having deteriorating symptoms should visit us at the earliest or call us on (434) 799-0120!