Having a tooth extracted by your dentist can be nerve-wracking. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the treatment will help you avoid any painful infections and will help to speed up the healing process, too.
Like any surgery, having teeth removed requires recovery time, and there will also typically be pain and discomfort. Here’s what to expect after having a tooth pulled and what you can do to help promote healing until you start to feel like yourself again.
Typical Recovery Period after Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a relatively very common dental treatment, and recovery typically takes about a week. Depending on your specific case, a few factors can cause you to experience an extended recovery time. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions on how to best care for the space where the tooth was extracted to avoid any delays in healing.
Most patients can fully recover from tooth extraction surgery in a few days. If your teeth were impacted or came in at an awkward angle, it could take a whole week to recover.
In the case of wisdom tooth extraction, the wound left behind after surgery won’t be considered completely healed for months, so you can still develop an infection weeks after surgery. Taking proper care of your mouth and the surgical sites by paying attention to any signs of trouble is the best way to ensure your mouth heals properly.
You can resume normal daily activities the day after surgery, but it’s suggested to avoid any activity that could dislodge stitches or the blood clot over your surgical site. Activities you should avoid include:
- Strenuous exercise
- Drinking from a straw
Tips To Promote Healing
Help your body heal and decrease your healing time after having a tooth extracted by ensuring you have the following tips factored into your recovery.
For the days immediately following a tooth extraction, you’re going to be more inclined to eat things that are soft and not extreme in temperature. However, living off of mashed potatoes and ice cream isn’t going to help promote healing from within. Eating nutritious meals even though you may not feel like it is vital to the healing process. Fruit and vegetable juices are a nutritious alternative to empty-calorie eating.
Oral Hygiene Care
Do not use an electric toothbrush while your mouth is healing, and avoid brushing over the surgical sites. Using antibacterial mouthwash twice a day for one to two weeks will be prescribed by your doctor. Avoid using over-the-counter mouth rinses like Listerine, Scope, or other rinses that are not prescribed.
Salt Water Rinse
A warm salt water rinse will gently rinse your mouth four times per day, starting 24 hours after surgery. A saltwater rinse is a great way to promote healing naturally.
Do not smoke or chew tobacco as it may increase the risk of a dry socket which is very painful. Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing worsening pain a few days after the extraction so that a dry socket can be appropriately treated. Any increase in pain, swelling, or concerns regarding the healing process should be immediately directed to your oral surgeon or dentist.
Contact Your Dentist If You Experience Any Complications
Some swelling, pain, and bleeding are usual symptoms after having teeth removed. Call your dentist immediately if you experience excessing bleeding or unbearable pain. The third-day post-surgery should significantly improve all symptoms, and all pain and bleeding should be gone within a week of surgery.
Experiencing complications could be a sign of infection or nerve damage. Contact your dentist right away if you experience any of the following symptoms including:
- Trouble swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- A fever
- Medication not effectively dulling the pain
- Swelling that gets worse over time
- Blood or pus coming out of your nose
- Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure with a gauze pad
These complications are rare, but they are essential to note just in case you experience anything out of the ordinary. Contact Elite Dental & Denture PC right away if you experience any of the listed complications so we can get you checked out right away.