Wondering what the best tooth extraction after care routine should include?
Tooth extractions often occur if there is nothing that can be done to save a tooth. At Dr Olstein’s dental surgery, tooth extraction is always a last resort. We will always try to fix a damaged or decayed tooth through fillings, crowns, root canals and other combinations of treatments.
Rest assured that during the procedure, we will administer local anaesthetic or, if the tooth is below the gum line, you will have the option to be placed under sedation. Dr Olstein will do all he can to make you feel as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Once your treatment is complete, we will provide you with personalised instructions for post-extraction care, including prescribed pain-relief medication.
Immediate Tooth Extraction After Care
The first thing you need to remember is that bleeding is normal. If you take your painkillers as prescribed and ensure you leave the initial gauze pad in your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes after the tooth extraction, you should have a much more comfortable experience immediately after the procedure.
To enhance your comfort, apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately following the procedure for ten minutes at a time. Make sure you don’t leave the ice pack on for more than ten minutes though, as this could result in tissue damage.
24 Hours After
In the twenty-four hours after your tooth extraction it is important to ensure you take the time to rest and limit your activity. Do your best to avoid rinsing and spitting in the twenty-four hours after your procedure. It’s also best not to smoke or use a straw as these activities could dislodge the blood clot and increase the time it takes to heal.
Prop your head up with pillows when you’re sleeping. Lying flat can prolong healing, and by propping your head up you will ensure you get the most comfortable night’s sleep possible.
Before going to sleep remember to brush and floss your teeth as usual, but don’t clean the teeth directly next to the tooth socket where the tooth removal took place.
Some bleeding for the first three to four days after your extraction is to be expected but will pass with time.
Food and Drink
In the first three hours after your tooth extraction make sure you don’t drink alcohol, as this can encourage bleeding and extend the time it takes your mouth to heal.
Eat and drink only lukewarm food and try to avoid chewing around the area of the tooth socket. You should try to eat soft foods like soup, pudding and yogurt to minimise the impact on the area of the tooth removal.
In the first twenty-four hours after your tooth removal, it’s completely normal to notice a little bit of bleeding around the area. Also, don’t be alarmed with the amount of blood. Often, it’s only a small amount of blood mixed with a larger amount of saliva making it appear more dramatic than it is.
If you happen to notice bleeding after the first twenty-four hours, ensure that you don’t rinse it out, but apply pressure directly to the socket. Bite on a folded piece of clean cotton material for about fifteen minutes and ensure that it is placed directly over the extraction site.
If the bleeding continues for over an hour, contact Dr Olstein.
Dry sockets are a side effect that occurs in about 2% of tooth extractions, but it’s good to be cautious just in case. Dry socket is a condition that often starts to flare up once the pain from the removal itself has begun to subside.
The symptoms occur as a result of the blood clot dislodging at the site of the extraction during the healing process. The lack of blood clot exposes nerve ending in the jaw and bones which can result in intense pain.
The pain and discomfort of dry socket usually cannot be relieved by the pain medication provided, so if this occurs it’s important to contact your dentist. After inspecting your mouth your dentist will apply a medicated dressing to that area which will help the pain immediately.
Back to Normal
Tooth extraction after care and the healing process should, in general, take about one to two weeks. After this you will be able to go back to a regular diet. The site of your tooth removal will likely have new bone and gum tissue grow, but it’s important to keep in mind that a missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift. This could affect your bite.
If you’re concerned about this, Dr Olstein can assist with replacing teeth.
If you follow the tooth extraction after care tips above, you should have an easy and seamless period of healing after your tooth extraction. Remember to keep taking care of your teeth, avoid anything that may inflame the socket and call Dr Olstein if the bleeding persists.