How Do You Recover from a Tooth Extraction?

Posted on: March 16, 2019

Without a doubt, recovering from a tooth extraction can be a long and painful process. However, there are many ways to minimize the trauma done to the surrounding tissues to ensure that the wound heals without any further complications. The most important thing to do after a tooth extraction is to give it the most optimal environment to heal quickly and smoothly. As always, follow the aftercare instructions given by your medical professional at all costs. If you have any urgent issues or concerns, always contact a professional as soon as possible.

Aftercare for tooth extractions

Resting and icing

Just like all wounds and injuries, letting your body naturally heal through rest and sleep is a great way to strengthen your oral health. Do not try to overstrain your body through exercise or strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after the procedure. While resting, try to level your head on your pillow in a slightly upright position to allow optimal blood flow and circulation throughout the mouth. Apply an ice pack as soon as possible after the procedure is performed. Icing can help reduce the swelling and inflammation in the area. Although swelling and redness may still occur with an ice pack, icing the area can help avoid any unnecessary slurs or speech troubles immediately following the procedure. Some doctors also recommend rinsing your mouth with a salt solution made of half a teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water. This can help sterilize and decreases the chances of a blood clot or infection.

Diet and painkillers

After any oral procedure, it is important to stick to soft and squishy foods. Not only does this take away additional strain on your tender mouth, but it also allows your teeth to take a break. Avoid hot foods such as tea or pizza, as this can inflame or irritate the tooth extraction site. Eating sugary foods such as ice cream after the procedure is fine in moderation. After a week or two, you will most likely be able to revert back to your regular diet, as new bone and gum tissue will have grown over the extraction point. However, you may have trouble biting or chewing for up to a month after the extraction due to the missing tooth. If you were given gauze after the procedure, it is important to regularly change the gauze to avoid any sort of infection. This can also help reduce pain as well. If you are experiencing any nagging pain or irritation around the site, try using painkillers to help reduce or numb this issue.

Avoid foreign objects and smoking

While the area is still healing, it is important not to place any foreign or harmful substances in your mouth. Avoid any sort of smoking or chewing tobacco until the healing is officially complete. If you smoke or chew tobacco while the healing is still in progress, you may risk tobacco entering the extraction site. This will cause additional pain and discomfort and may even lead to an infection if not properly washed. Mouthwash is fine if used in moderation. Despite the missing tooth, it is important to maintain your oral routine at all costs. Your extraction site is a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure to floss at least once a day along with your daily brushing as well.

Request an appointment here: or call Peter T. Smrecek Jr. DDS Inc. at (949) 303-1309 for an appointment in our Newport Beach office.

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