What to Expect after the Tooth Extraction Procedure
By Stephen Rogers on March 08, 2016
Severely damaged teeth and overcrowding can pose a threat to oral health. In these cases, tooth extractions may be necessary to address dental damage or overcrowding, therebyrestoringoral health. If you are undergoing the tooth extraction procedure, you may be wondering what to expect during the recovery process. For answers to your specific questions about tooth extraction recovery, schedule a consultation at our Long Island, NY practice, Greater Long Island Dental. In the meantime, learn more about what to expect during tooth extraction recovery in this overview.
What to Expect during Tooth Extraction Recovery
After tooth extraction, new gum tissue will begin to grow, filling in the gap left by the recently extracted tooth. Although this process generally takes one to two weeks, most patients will feel recovered within a few days. Patients should give themselves a day or two to relax after tooth extraction before returning to work or their normal activities.
Immediately after tooth extraction, patients may feel pain or discomfort in the jaws and gums around the extraction site. For most patients, over-the-counter pain relievers are sufficient at alleviating pain and discomfort. Aspirin-based pain relievers should be avoided, however, as these can interfere with blood clotting. Gently applying an ice pack against the jaw can also help alleviate pain and discomfort, in addition to reducing any swelling that may occur after tooth extraction.
Aftercare During Recovery
Proper aftercare during the recovery period is key to preventing infection or other complications, like dry socket, after tooth extraction. Dry socket is a painful condition in which the protective blood clot formed within the empty tooth socket becomes dislodged, leaving the jaw and gum tissue vulnerable to infection. Following all post-extraction directions from your dentist can help prevent dry socket and ensure proper healing. In addition to your dentist's directions, these aftercare tips can help you have a speedy recovery.
- Eat soft foods: Hard, crunchy foods should be avoided while the gums and jaw heal to prevent irritation to the extraction site. Stick to soft foods, like pudding, soups, and yogurt, while you recover.
- Don't smoke: Smoking inhibits the body's ability to heal itself and increases the risk of dry socket. Patients should not smoke while they recover from tooth extraction.
- Do not drink from a straw: Drinking from a straw produces suction within the mouth; this can dislodge blood clots within the extraction site, increasing the risk of dry socket. Straws should not be used for a minimum of 24 hours after extraction.
- Brush and floss with care: Patients will need to continue to brush and floss after tooth extraction, however, care should be taken to avoid contact with the extraction site during recovery. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle pressure can prevent irritation to the gums as they heal.
- Avoid forcefully rinsing or spitting: During the first 24 hours after tooth extraction, it's important not to rinse or spit forcefully, as these actions may cause dry socket.
- Rinse with warm salt water: After 24 hours, patients may rinse the mouth with warm salt water, a natural antiseptic, to help ease discomfort and prevent infection.
Restore Your Smile after Tooth Extraction
Patients who have undergone tooth extraction as a result of dental damage often benefit from restorative treatment. Restorative treatments can be used to replace missing teeth, restoring dental function and appearance.
- Dental bridges: One or multiple missing teeth can be replaced with dental bridges.
- Dentures: Patients missing a full upper arch, lower arch, or both can enjoy a restored smile with dentures.
- Dental implants: Dental implants can be used to support different types of restorations, including dental bridges, dentures, and crowns, to securely replace multiple or individual teeth.
Which Treatments Are Right for You?
Tooth extraction may be able to help get your oral health back on track. For more information about tooth extraction, or to find out which treatment options are right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at Greater Long Island Dental.
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