Tooth extraction is one of the dental procedures for treating cavities or severe tooth decay. As the name implies, it entails removing your tooth entirely from its socket. Aside from severe tooth decay, tooth extraction may also be necessary in the case of crowded teeth, fractured teeth, severe dental injuries like tooth luxation, severe gum disease and etc. Your dentist will often advise whether tooth extraction is the best course of action.
Like any dental procedure in general dentistry, aftercare plays a pivotal role in your recovery. Therefore, here is a guide on what you need to do regarding proper dental care following your tooth extraction procedure.
Discomfort, pain, or soreness are common after a tooth extraction procedure. Your face is also likely to swell around the affected area. Generally, your dentist will prescribe painkillers to help reduce the pain, swelling, discomfort and etc. Over-the-counter medications can also come in handy but ensure you use only those your dentist recommends.
Applying towel-wrapped ice bags or packs over your cheek on the affected area for a couple of minutes at a time following the procedure can also help reduce swelling and pain. Typically, any discomfort, swelling or pain should wear off even in a day or so. However, if it's persistent for several days, it would be best to consult your dentist.
Like pain, bleeding is inevitable post a tooth extraction procedure. Usually, your dentist will place a gauze pad after the procedure. You will need to bite down gently on this gauze for a couple of minutes or hours after the procedure, as recommended by the dentist. Leaving the gauze in place is necessary for blood clotting. And while the initial should do the trick after a few hours, you may change it as necessary.
General Mouth Care
Rinsing, spitting, and using straws should be avoided at least for the first day or so after the procedure. Doing all these can quickly dislodge the blood clot that's still forming. To prevent infection, you will need to continue brushing and flossing your teeth, carefully avoiding the extraction area to prevent dislodging the blood clot.
It's also critical to avoid smoking as you heal because, like using a straw or spitting, smoking can create pressure in your mouth, affecting the blood clot.
Watching your diet during the healing process is equally important. Therefore, eat soft foods over the entire healing period. These foods include soups, pudding, applesauce, mashed potatoes, yoghurt and etc. Chewy, crunchy and hard foods should be avoided as these can irritate the extraction site, dislodging the clot. Also, remember to avoid the extraction site when chewing.