Tooth Extraction Aftercare—All You Need To Know!
Tooth extraction aftercare is extremely necessary to avoid infections after the extraction. The tooth extraction process is relatively common for adults even though teeth are supposed to be permanent by then. There are numerous reasons for which one might require tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction involves removing the teeth completely from the mouth. People may need tooth extraction due to crowded teeth or tooth decay. A dental surgeon or dentist might perform the procedure for extracting the tooth in their clinic and provide some time to the patient for learning tooth extraction aftercare remedies for the area to heal adequately.
During your appointment with a dentist, they will first inject a powerful anesthetic into the region around your tooth to prevent you from feeling a lot of pain. Usually, a dentist uses a series of instruments to loosen your tooth before removing it or pulling it out.
Once they remove the decayed tooth, gauze is placed inside the mouth over the area of tooth extraction to assist in controlling bleeding and to promote clotting of the area so that it heals sooner.
Tooth extraction aftercare is as important as the procedure itself because you may end up getting infected. Learn about tooth extraction aftercare tips from this article and follow the remedies suggested by your doctor to a T.
Here’s all you need to know on tooth extraction aftercare:
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Tooth extraction aftercare may differ slightly on several factors which must be noted before learning the tips.
These factors include the tooth which is taken out by the doctor, as some teeth inside the mouth might have stronger roots while others have comparatively weaker roots. Teeth with stronger roots will need more time to completely heal. However, most people who visit the dentist for extraction feel pain during the first 3 days, following which the pain keeps decreasing.
Another important factor to consider when it comes to tooth extraction aftercare is handling the blood clot that builds inside the sockets where your tooth was located.
Caring for the blood clot formed after extraction is the key to faster healing and it also helps avoid any painful complications later on. Some complications include dry sockets.
Day: 1 and 2
Most of the tooth extraction aftercare in the initial 1-2 days focuses on letting the blood clot form and taking care of your mouth regularly. Some experts have noted that a low level of bleeding from the mouth after a tooth extraction is perfectly expectant and most people face it. However, active bleeding after a period of 1 to 2 days is not normal and you must visit a doctor.
Here are some additional tips on tooth extraction aftercare for the first 2 days or so:
- Get lots of rest initially: You are expected to be taking rest for at least the initial 24 hours or so after the tooth extraction has been performed.
- Replace the gauze as needed: It is necessary to let the first dressing in the mouth remain for at least several hours to let the blood clot form. Once you do this, it is expected to replace the gauze as frequently as needed and as you feel.
- Evade rinsing too much: As tempting as it might be, you should avoid washing, swishing, and gargling in the mouth as the tooth extraction area is clotting. These activities might displace any clot that is developing inside and influences the healing time also.
- Avoid using any straws: Using any straw will place a lot of pressure or force on the wound that is trying to heal. Doing this will only dislodge that clot and increase the time needed to heal.
- Do not spit yet: Spitting will also form pressure inside your mouth which might dislodge that clot and the time needed to heal is certainly going to increase.
- Avoid sneezing or blowing your nose: If your dentist has removed a tooth from your mouth’s upper jaw, sneezing or blowing the nose may create pressure in your head that dislodges the blood clot which is developing slowly. As much as possible, sneezing and blowing the nose must be avoided.
- Do not smoke– Smoking might create a similar pressure as a straw in your mouth. While it is most helpful to avoid smoking during the process of healing as a tooth extraction aftercare tip, it is highly important to avoid smoking or vaping during the initial days when blood clot formation takes place.
- Pain relievers can be utilized- There are different over-the-counter pain relievers to help you reduce inflammation and pain. Do not hesitate to ask the dentist about medications you might take.
- Use cold compresses- Placing a towel-wrapped bag full of ice or an ice pack on the area for nearly 10 to 20 minutes will help reduce or dull the pain.
- Elevate your head– When you are sleeping or lying down normally, make certain you use extra pillows to lift or elevate your head. Lying down too flat might allow the blood to pool inside the head and extend the time needed for the area to heal.
- Take all the medications your dentists recommends/suggests you to take– The dental surgeon might order some prescription medications for complex removals. You must complete the course of treatment fully so that you do not have a hard time dealing with the extraction.
Day: 3 to 10
Once the blood clot formation has taken place in the first 2 days, it is important to keep it safely in place and follow extra steps for your oral hygiene and assist in proving any infections or pain.
Some additional tips for tooth extraction aftercare starting from the 3rd day to the 10th day include the following:
- Saline rinses– When the blood clot is in place securely such that applying a little pressure will not dislodge it, you can gently rinse your mouth with a warm solution of saline water. You can use warm water and add a pinch of regular salt for this purpose. This mixture is always recommended as it helps destroy the bacteria in your mouth which may be the reason why many people face issues with their healing.
- Floss and use your brush as usual- Now you may start brushing and flossing your teeth as you usually did. But make certain you avoid the area from which the tooth was extracted altogether. The saline water and medicated mouthwashes that your dental surgeon has recommended must be enough to rinse and clean the area.
- Eat soft food items- Throughout the complete healing process, one must also consume soft food items that do not need a lot of chewing, thus putting pressure on the teeth. Eating food that is unlikely to remain stuck in the teeth also helps fasten healing. Consider sticking to food items like soups, applesauce, yogurt, and similar food items. Avoid eating foods like chips, hard toast, and other food containing seeds.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare For Multiple Teeth
Sometimes, the dental surgeon might require to extract more than one tooth at a time or multiple teeth. While removing more than one tooth, the surgeon is likely to suggest general anesthesia rather than using the regular local anesthetic solutions.
The person opting for extraction might therefore remain unconscious throughout the extraction process. The dentist might also provide some special instructions regarding extraction, such as not eating anything for a certain timeframe. Once the procedure is completed, the person will require someone else to take them to their house due to anesthesia.
Tooth extraction aftercare tips for multiple extractions can seem challenging particularly if the teeth are located on opposite sides inside the mouth. Dentists might also have specific instructions for such cases and they might also suggest a follow-up shortly after the first extraction takes place.
Doctors may also utilize clotting aids in the site of tooth extraction. Clotting aids are several small pieces made of natural material to aid in clotting. The body works by breaking these clotting aids safely and then absorbing them over time.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare For Wisdom Teeth
In general, the doctor will remove your wisdom teeth when you are young and more likely to recover faster after the surgery has been performed. However, the healing time for your wisdom teeth extraction can be way longer than that of removing regular teeth. You might also require more time off school, college, or work.
This surgery generally involves removing more than one tooth and the person will be under the effect of general anesthesia during the entire process. In many cases, the doctor might implement other techniques to increase the pace of healing after these surgeries are over such as clotting aids and dissolvable stitches.
Tooth extraction aftercare tips for wisdom teeth are similar to those of other teeth but the dentist might provide you with some additional tips to help increase the healing.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips For Children
If your child requires tooth extraction, know that the procedure will be slightly different than the regular one. To perform any extraction, the dentist will put the child under general anesthesia only, which indicates your child will remain unconscious throughout the time surgery is performed.
However, the healing is similar. It is important for parents to monitor the child’s oral health and healing process closely and to ask them about symptoms like bleeding and pain. Tooth extraction aftercare tips are similar and you must take proper care.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare—Home Remedies
It is common to encounter symptoms such as swelling and pain after tooth extraction. Some remedies might ease the pain at different stages of the healing. Some useful home remedies for pain include the following:
- Ice packs– Make certain you apply an ice pack for at least 10-20 minutes to reduce swelling and discomfort after extraction.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen, Advil, Naproxen or Aleve, might assist in reducing both swellings and discomfort.
- Saltwater rinses: As a component of your daily care habit, saltwater rinses might help in killing bacteria in your mouth and decreasing inflammations and pain.
When to Visit a Doctor
The natural healing process may take nearly 10 days or so, based on a variety of factors, like a person’s age and if they smoke or not. However, if you notice some unusual symptoms, you must see a doctor to avoid worsening the condition and pain.
Symptoms that a person must see their dentist for include:
- Pain and inflammation or soreness getting worse with time.
- Bleeding that does not stop or progresses with time
- A high and painful fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic pain that radiates to the ear
- Drainage from the extracted tooth area that smells or tastes foul.
The Bottom Line
Tooth extraction effectively helps get rid of a problematic tooth to stop future difficulties.
After the tooth extraction procedure, precise tooth extraction aftercare tips must be followed and is vital for healing, as it increases or promotes the clotting and defends the extraction area during the process of healing. Most easy extractions must heal within 7 to 10 days only.
Anyone undergoing worsening symptoms following tooth extraction must visit their dentist as soon as possible to avoid complications.