It’s a common misconception that tooth extractions don’t hurt. We hate to break it to you, but the truth is that when it comes to removing teeth, there can be some pain involved.
When having a tooth extracted, the most common causes of pain are the pressure used by your dentist during the procedure and inflammation due to nerve endings being exposed after the tooth has been removed. That being said, with today’s modern advancements in dental technology, many procedures like this can be completed relatively quickly and with minimal discomfort.
So what can you do if your dentist recommends getting a tooth extraction or if you need one for another reason? The first thing is to arm yourself with knowledge about how long the pain may last.
Generally, the pain from a tooth extraction is going to be at its peak immediately after the procedure and then slowly decrease over the next few days. You may also experience some tenderness or soreness for several days afterwards and you can expect your dentist to prescribe pain medication if needed.
In addition, there are other methods you can use to help manage your discomfort such as applying cold compresses, taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen, avoiding eating hard foods, and staying away from extremely hot temperatures (like drinking steaming beverages).
How Much Pain Should I Expect After My Tooth Removal?
The nature and intensity of your tooth extraction pain are closely linked to the strength of your tooth roots and the consequent dental procedure type required.
Such a dental removal is typically associated with minor socket pain and swelling, which last no longer than 12 or in certain cases, up to 24 hours.
The permanent teeth can also be pulled out in most cases, providing that they managed to fully erupt. Nevertheless, the tooth extraction pain triggered by a procedure is considerably more acute, since the roots of permanent teeth are obviously stronger than those of the primary ones.
Unfortunately, not all teeth manage to fully erupt and, thus, some call for urgent surgical removal. Like any surgery, this procedure is typically linked to acute tooth extraction pain, which in many cases, is extremely hard for the patient to go through without pain relievers. Typically, the sharpest pain is associated with the molars and, thus, wisdom teeth, since their roots are really strong.
Typically, the dentist gives his patient a local anesthesia shot prior to either a surgical or simple removal procedure. The only exception is the case when the tooth roots are extremely weakened due to age or underlying disease and require minimum intervention for their extraction. This means that you are not going to experience any pain during the actual dental procedure.
The first tooth extraction pain symptoms are typically expected to reveal themselves several hours after the procedure, when the sedative medications start wearing out.
How Long Is My Tooth Extraction Pain Supposed to Last?
The duration of this highly unpleasant tooth removal symptom is also closely linked to the strength of the tooth roots, type of extraction procedure, and possible associated complications. Typically, the pain of a simple milk tooth extraction is supposed to last up to 24 hours.
The ache associated with the same dental procedure for the permanent teeth is expected to bother the patient up to several days. And finally, the pain of surgical tooth extraction typically remains decreasingly acute up to five days. Such a long healing process is associated with extensive damage to the tooth supporting tissues.
How Does My Tooth Extraction Pain Change over the Time?
It is essential not to panic as the first painful symptoms arrive, even though they might seem to be just intolerable. Fortunately, tooth extraction pain is the worst just during the first 12 hours after the procedure and then gets increasingly better.
Also, consider that the missing tooth socket area typically remains sore, when touched, up to 24 hours past its extraction. Moderate gum swelling and bleeding around the socket are usually observed for the same period of time.
Still, in the case of a surgical tooth removal, the bleeding typically lasts longer and might continue as much as three days after the actual procedure. Additionally, such extraction will also trigger more acute tooth extraction pain, which typically lasts several days longer when compared to the simple tooth removal procedure.
However, if the tooth extraction pain still remains acute in two, not to mention three days after the surgery, and especially if it starts shooting into the jaw or head, these might very well be the warning signs of a dry socket. This is a complication of surgical tooth extraction, associated with the blood clot dislodgement. The symptom requires urgent professional treatment, since commercial pain relievers and antibiotics just mask it.
The socket swelling typically reaches its peak on the second day after the tooth removal procedure and then starts gradually decreasing. However, if the swollen socket and gum line are reddish and feel hot, this is a warning sign of infection and, thus, high time to contact your dentist.
Tooth extraction pain which is still acute three days after the surgery is also a clear reason for you to seek urgent professional dental help, while it is obviously a complication of the tooth extraction procedure, ranging from a minor infection to a severe dry socket. Even though the healing process is typically accompanied by a moderate fever, its rise up to 100 F is also a vivid sign of infection.
Finally, there is typically no more tooth extraction pain in seven or, in more severe cases, ten days of healing, no matter how major the procedure was. It is high time for the dentist to remove the stitches from his patient’s gums in the case of this type of surgical procedure, unless the stitches are resorbable.
How Can My Tooth Extraction Pain Be Managed at Home?
First of all, it is essential for every patient to follow a thorough oral hygiene routine during the healing process to avoid secondary infection from entering the opened socket area and the consequent, yet more acute pain.
Secondly, common post-procedure tooth extraction pain is usually successfully managed by pain relievers which the dentist or oral surgeon prescribes to his patient. Typically, these are Ibuprofen for mild pain, codeine for more acute pain, and finally, oxycodone for the severest ache.
You should never practice self-treatment, but rather let your dentist prescribe the best suitable medications to alleviate your tooth extraction pain.
Thirdly, it would be wise of you to rinse your mouth with a mild baking soda or salt solution up to the tenth day of healing, not only to relieve the socket area swelling and tooth extraction pain, but also to prevent any infection from entering the oral wound.
Finally, remember that it is essential to avoid drinking with a straw, sucking on the socket, or spitting for 24 hours; plus, refrain from smoking up to two days after the procedure to avoid the tooth extraction pain worsening or any further complications.