Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that may be necessary due to tooth decay, gum disease or injury. After the procedure, proper dental care is essential for optimal healing and preventing complications such as infections, dry sockets, and excessive bleeding. Here are some tips for navigating the recovery process after tooth extraction:
Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your mouth after tooth extraction. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to minimize discomfort, promote healing, and prevent infection. This may include taking pain medication, using ice packs on your face, avoiding certain foods or drinks, and keeping the area clean.
Bleeding is common after tooth extraction. To control bleeding, keep pressure on the gauze placed over the area by your dentist for at least 30 minutes after the procedure. If bleeding persists replace with new gauze and continue applying pressure.
Apply Ice Packs
Swelling can occur after a tooth extraction which can be reduced by applying ice packs to your cheek near the extraction site for 10-20 minutes at a time.
Avoid Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
Smoking or using other tobacco products can hinder the healing process after tooth extraction. Nicotine constricts blood vessels reducing blood flow to the wound site and leading to delayed healing. Smoking also increases the risk of developing a dry socket which is a painful condition that occurs when a blood clot forming at the extraction site becomes dislodged.
Eat Soft Foods
After tooth extraction, avoid eating hard foods that could damage or irritate the wound site. Stick with soft foods such as soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, eggs, or smoothies until you receive clearance from your dentist.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Keeping your mouth clean is crucial for promoting healing and preventing infection after tooth extractions. Brush gently around areas where teeth have been extracted using a soft-bristled brush twice daily. Rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water) four times daily starting from the day after surgery.
Navigating the recovery process following tooth extractions requires patience and diligence. Following the instructions given by your dentist is essential.