Tooth extraction: Recovery tips

Tooth extraction is a commonly performed dental procedure among adults.

Why tooth extraction is performed?

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay or infection
  • Crowded teeth
  • Damage due to trauma

Aftercare measures

Tooth extraction: Recovery tips
The individual should rest for 24 hours after the tooth extraction procedure and limit activity during the next few days.

Even though the aftercare tends to differ based on the type of extraction performed and site of the tooth, it is expected to heal within 7-10 days.

It is vital that one is aware on what to do to keep the blood clot in place in the tooth socket. Remember that if it is dislodged, it can be quite painful.

Some of the measures to hasten the healing time include:

  • Pain medications can be taken as instructed
  • The gauze pad that was initially applied must be left in place for 3-4 hours after the procedure
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected site right after the procedure, but for only 10 minutes at a time.
  • The individual should rest for 24 hours after the tooth extraction procedure and limit activity during the next few days.
  • If possible, avoid displacing the blood clot by not rinsing, spitting or using a straw for 24 hours after the procedure was carried out.
  • This is followed by rinsing the mouth with a salt solution after 24 hours.
  • Cessation of smoking
  • While sleeping, elevate the head using pillows and cushions since lying flat can delay healing
  • Continue to brush and floss the teeth to prevent infection but avoid the site of the tooth extraction

Pain management

In most cases, a tooth extraction procedure can cause some discomfort or pain. It is expected to see some facial swelling.

The pain medications given by the doctor can lessen these symptoms. Several other over-the-counters medications are also given.

If the discomfort does not settle within 2-3 days after tooth extraction, a dentist must be consulted. In case the pain worsens several days after, a dentist must be seen right away to rule out an infection.

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