While your dentist will always try their best to save your natural teeth, sometimes tooth removal is unavoidably the best remedy. For instance, your dentist can recommend extracting an impacted, severely damaged, or decayed tooth. You can either have a simple or surgical extraction based on your tooth’s condition.
If you’re scheduled for either procedure, you might be worried about how long it will take to heal. Generally, tooth extraction healing time should be pretty quick as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions. Below are several tips to speed up your recovery process and resume normality in no time.
Whether you had a simple or surgical extraction, you must rest adequately for the next 24 – 48 hours after the procedure. Any strenuous activities like bending over, cardio, or heavy lifting can increase blood pressure in the head, leading to bleeding and increased discomfort in the extraction area.
Keep your head elevated above your heart by resting on a soft pillow. It allows blood to flow from the extraction site, which reduces swelling and helps you heal faster.
After tooth extraction, you can expect minor bleeding in the extraction socket. Your dentist will give you gauze to bite on to promote blood clotting and stop bleeding. Be sure to keep the gauze in place until the bleeding stops. You can change the gauze if it’s fully soaked in blood.
Your mouth might feel strange after removing a tooth. You may want to touch the wound with your tongue or finger to feel the socket. However, doing this can dislodge or irritate the wound, exacerbating your bleeding, pain, and swelling. Even worse, it increases your risk of bacterial infections.
You may want to eat or drink your favorite coffee when going home after your extraction appointment. However, you should wait until your mouth is no longer numb to eat. Eating while still numb can cause you to hurt your tongue or cheeks and disturb the extraction site. Drinking hot items can also cause you to burn your mouth, worsening your symptoms.
Eating well after a tooth extraction is vital to provide your body with the minerals and nutrients required for wound healing. However, you must be careful about what you eat. Hard, crunchy, chewy, hot, and spicy foods can disturb or irritate the extraction area, worsening your symptoms. Also, avoid sugary items as they can increase your risk of infections in the extraction site.
For the next few days, consider eating soft foods such as oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt, mashed potatoes, avocado, soft fish, water, and soups.
While it may be tempting to rinse, spit, or use a straw after tooth extraction, doing so can affect the pressure in your mouth, causing your blood clot to dislodge. It can lead to a dry socket, increased discomfort, and infections.
It’s essential to avoid alcohol and smoking for at least 48 hours following tooth extraction. Alcohol and smoking can affect the clot formation process, worsening your bleeding and swelling and delaying wound healing.
It’s highly essential to stay hydrated after tooth extraction. It helps prevent a dry mouth and wash away bacteria and debris from the mouth, preventing infections. Cool water is the best beverage to stay hydrated. Avoid hot or cold beverages as they can affect wound healing.
Cold therapy is an excellent way to minimize pain and swelling after tooth extraction. Please note that excessive swelling can affect wound healing and extend your recovery. To do this, apply a cold compress on the cheek against the extraction site for about 15 minutes. Cold therapy is only effective for the first 24 – 48 hours.
After extraction, your dentist or surgeon will likely prescribe medications to manage pain and swelling and prevent infections. You must take the medication strictly as directed. Contact your dentist immediately if your symptoms worsen or persist beyond the usual amount of time.
Your dentist or surgeon will instruct you when and how to brush and floss. Be sure to brush gently around the extraction site. After 24 hours, you can rinse with warm salt water to wash away food debris and bacteria to prevent infections. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes as they irritate the wound and delay healing.
If all goes well, you should feel completely fine within 1 – 2 weeks. Wisdom tooth extraction recovery may take slightly longer than a simple extraction.
For more information about tooth extractions and wisdom teeth removal recovery, contact South Hadley Dental Group.