You can easily estimate what to expect after your tooth extraction by discovering the type of procedure you expect to go through from your dental care provider. For instance, the common procedure aimed at pulling your tooth from its socket with no signs of extensive trauma is expected to heal on its own in a couple of hours with absolutely no complications.
However, surgical tooth removal is associated with a number of unpleasant sensations and potential complications. That is why it is essential to follow these practical and highly beneficial aftercare recommendations, developed by experienced oral surgeons, for the first 24 recovery hours after tooth extraction and also three to five next days. Still, note that wisdom teeth removal is usually a considerably more invasive dental procedure, which might make you stick to the aftercare tips for a slightly longer period of time.
What Should I Know About Tooth Extraction Aftercare?
Please, note that the tooth extraction aftercare recommendations I am going to outline in this article are relevant for recovery from pulling out and average surgical tooth removal: more complicated cases might require a number of additional at-home instructions which your oral surgeon will certainly equip you with.
It would be also wise of you to first consult with your dental care provider to determine if all of these tooth extraction aftercare instructions are applicable in your individual case.
How to Take Care of My Socket after the Simple Tooth-Pulling Procedure?
The tooth extraction aftercare recommendations are rather simple for this kind of dental procedure. They are simply aimed at keeping the missing tooth socket clean and encouraging you to avoid trauma to it. Occasionally, your dental care provider might advise you to additionally irrigate the wound, but do not follow the latter recommendation if it has not been medically prescribed.
In some rare cases, even a simple tooth-pulling procedure needs some basic support for management of gum line bleeding and/or swelling and, probably, removal of chipped bone fragments.
How to Take Care of My Socket after Surgical Tooth Extraction?
Apart from the above-mentioned set of basic tooth extraction aftercare recommendations, those for surgical tooth removals will be additionally aimed at the prevention of such possible complications as infection of the wound or dry socket. These will also include more severe dietary, oral hygiene, and physical activity limitations for patients after surgical tooth extraction. Special attention is also to be paid to the care of stitches, unless these are the self-dissolving type.
How to Stop the Bleeding?
Moderate bleeding from the socket of the missing tooth is an absolutely normal thing for tooth extraction, but it still has to be controlled. Just put a piece of previously moistened gauze against the socket of the missing tooth so that the maximum pressure gets applied on the wound as you bite against the gauze. Ensure firm pressure by placing the amount of gauze that does not allow your jaws to touch each other as you close your mouth.
Apart from that, this tooth extraction aftercare method requires the period of prolonged pressure to be long enough (from 45 minutes to an hour). Avoid chewing on the gauze. You may also replace it with a moistened tea bag to additionally avoid the dangerous dislodgement of the blood clot.
Repeat the procedure if the bleeding does not stop in 45 minutes. Get highly concerned if it does not get less from one session to another, and urgently contact your dental care provider.
What Physical Activities Increase Gum Line Bleeding?
Oral surgeons generally advise their patients to have a rest after the procedure for about a day, or at least avoid strenuous exercises, lifting heavy things, and bending. When lying in the bed, ensure that your head is positioned above (!) your heart level.
By neglecting the above-mentioned tooth extraction aftercare recommendation, you not only increase the odds of bleeding, but also hinder blood clot formation within the socket of the missing tooth.
How to Ensure the Normal Formation of Clots?
Dislodgement of the blood clot within the socket of the missing tooth is closely linked to the rare but highly dangerous complication termed “dry socket”. You should follow a number of tooth extraction aftercare recommendations to avoid the complication associated with loss of blood clots. Remember that the odds of dry socket are the highest during the first 24 hours after the surgical invasion.
Therefore, avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting during these 24 hours. Excessive intake of liquids can also cause dislodgement of the blood clot. So, consume the minimum of coffee and soup or totally replace them with a moderate amount of tea, which is known to contribute to clot formation.
Sharp air pressure changes within the oral cavity can additionally trigger blood clot dislodgement. That is why the most essential tooth extraction aftercare recommendation is to avoid using a straw or smoking (at least for the first 48 hours after the surgical invasion), or sucking the socket of the missing tooth or your tongue. Make sure you sneeze with your mouth open and avoid blowing your nose.
How to Control the Swelling?
Moderate swelling can be considerably reduced by the application of an ice pack to your facial area near the missing tooth for about ten minutes. Repeat this procedure for up to 24 hours with regular twenty-minutes-long rest intervals.
How to Alleviate the Pain?
A small percentage of patients experience hardly any ache after their tooth extraction. Moderate pain can be successfully managed by Ibuprofen or simply Tylenol. Unbearably acute ache needs specially prescribed medications, but these cases are quite rare.
How to Avoid the Infection?
Never neglect to take the antibiotics prescribed by your dental care provider, since this is the strongest tooth extraction aftercare recommendation aimed at preventing infection of the wound.
Gentle but regular oral hygiene will help to keep bacteria that cause dental caries and gum diseases away from the wound.
What Are the Tooth Extraction Aftercare Recommendations for Eating?
The patients are usually advised to consume soft and small amounts of liquid food items over the first 24 hours after their surgical invasion. The only eating pattern restrictions for the simple tooth extraction procedure include avoiding chewing on your freshly missing tooth and its neighbors.
What Are the Tooth Extraction Aftercare Recommendations for Oral Hygiene?
Dental care providers generally recommend their patients to avoid brushing even the neighboring teeth of their freshly removed tooth on the first day after the surgery. From that point on, maintain gentle, but regular, oral hygiene to avoid infection of the wound. Be particularly careful when rinsing your mouth to avoid dislodgement of the blood clot. Avoid commercial mouthwashes. Start rinsing your oral cavity with a salt and water solution not less than 24 hours after your surgical invasion.
Finally, remember that the tooth extraction aftercare recommendations outlined above will only have the maximum benefits when followed thoroughly enough and under your dental care provider’s close supervision.