Dental Extractions Aftercare: The Do's and Don'ts

Dental Extractions Aftercare: The Do's and Don'ts

May 01, 2021

Tooth extraction may be necessary if you have severe tooth decay, a tooth injury, severe gum disease, an impacted tooth, or crowded teeth, among other reasons. Most dental extractions are performed on a damaged tooth that’s beyond saving.

A dental extraction can either be simple or surgical, depending on the complexity of your situation. The simple extraction is used for simple tooth extraction procedures. On the other hand, surgical extraction involves the use of surgery to extract the tooth.

Luckily, recovery for both types of extraction is easy and quick. After the extraction, your dentist is likely to advise you on several recovery tips. To promote faster healing and recovery, make sure you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

If you think you may need a dental extraction, please contact Concord Dental Associates to schedule a consultation.

The Do’s After a Tooth Extraction

Here are the things that you should do following a tooth extraction procedure:

  • Rest for at least 24 hours.

Rest is essential after treatment, whether the treatment was simple or surgical. For 24-48 hours after a tooth extraction, avoid any tasks or exercises that require a lot of effort.

If possible, take the day off and avoid any exercise. When resting, try to keep your head in an upright position and avoid unnecessary bending.

  • Allow the extraction site to clot.

Immediately after the extraction, your dentist will ask you to bite down a piece of gauze for about 30-60 minutes. As part of the healing process, the extraction site should form a blood clot.

The clot acts as a protective barrier to the underlying bone nerves in the extraction site. It protects the area against food, fluids, air, and debris that can cause infections. You should change the gauze once if it’s soaked.

  • Stay hydrated.

Proper hydration is crucial for faster healing and recovery. So, make sure you drink plenty of water. You should drink water using a cup as any sucking could mess up the clot, exposing the extraction socket. Additionally, allow water to fall out of the mouth instead of spitting.

  • Use an ice pack.

Following a tooth extraction, it’s normal to experience moderate pain, discomfort, or swelling. You can apply an ice pack or a cold compress on the cheek around the extraction area to get relief.

  • Use warm salt water rinses.

Since it’s not possible to brush the extraction area, you can use warm salty water to rinse and clean it. Salty water is also suitable for alleviating pain and discomfort as well as killing bacteria.

  • Take your medication as instructed.

After the extraction, your dentist may prescribe some medication to promote faster healing and recovery. You can take pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines for pain and swelling. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections.

  • Call your dentist if any complications arise.

While complications are rare after a tooth extraction, they can occur. Contact your dentist if you have severe pain, bleeding, or swelling.

Don’ts after a Tooth extraction

Here is what not to do after tooth extraction:

  • Don’t smoke.

If you smoke, you’ll have to avoid smoking for at least 48 hours after the extraction. Chemicals from tobacco products can affect the clot, increasing the risk of developing a dry socket.

  • Avoid certain foods.

For the next 24-36 hours after a tooth extraction, try as much as possible to avoid foods that may irritate the extraction area. These include chewy, spicy, crunchy, sticky, and hard foods. Opt for softer foods such as mashed potatoes, soups, scrambled eggs, fish, yogurt, milkshakes, and smoothies.

  • Avoid overly hot or cold food/drinks.

To avoid affecting the clot and causing sensitivity in the extraction area, avoid excessively hot or cold food and drinks.

  • Don’t take Aspirin.

Don’t be tempted to take Aspirin for pain relief. Aspirin is a blood thinner and can interfere with clot formation, which can delay healing. To be safe, only take medication as directed by your dentist.

  • Avoid sucking.

Whether you’re smoking, sipping, or drinking water using a straw, any sucking after tooth extraction can dislodge the blood clot, delaying healing.

  • Don’t poke the extraction area.

While you may be tempted to brush or poke the extraction area with your tongue or finger, it can destroy the blood clot. Similarly, it can disturb the empty socket, leading to further bleeding or a dry socket.

Summary

Now that you know what to do and what not to do after a tooth extraction, you can be assured of a faster recovery process. Together with the aftercare tips above, maintaining proper dental practices and habits is essential for faster recovery. If you’re considering dental extractions, please contact Concord Dental Associates.

603-224-4061 Schedule Now
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