5 Tips for Smoother Tooth Extraction Recovery

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, an estimated 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and 40 million are missing all of them. That means millions of Americans are dealing with a variety of dental problems bad enough to require tooth extractions. 

That could include problems, like tooth decay (cavities), gum disease, injury, and crowded teeth. And once the tooth is removed, taking proper care of yourself after the procedure is essential to prevent complications.

Recovery after a tooth extraction is important for your overall health. If you have questions about tooth extractions and you live in the Mamaroneck, New York, or Stamford, Connecticut, area, help is available. Dr. Gennadiy Kravets and All Bright Dental offer 15 years of experience helping people with a variety of dental needs.

What happens when the tooth is removed

To properly recover after an extraction, first, you need to understand the process. 

Once the area has been anesthetized, the extraction begins. The extraction is performed by loosening the tissue and bone holding the tooth. Forceps are used to move the tooth back and forth to ease the removal. The socket is packed with gauze, and occasionally, stitches are needed.

Proper recovery care is necessary so the open socket doesn’t become infected.

Tips for post-extraction care

To protect yourself from complications after a tooth extraction, we offer five tips:

1. Get plenty of rest

Your body needs to recover from the extraction, and resting is an effective way to promote healing. That generally means the first day after surgery you will need to limit activity and get plenty of bed rest.

2. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or using straws

Rinsing and spitting can increase the chance of loosening the clot where the tooth was removed, which can delay healing and lead to infection. Straws can move around in the mouth and also dislodge the clot.

3. Avoid sneezing or blowing your nose

The pressure from blowing your nose and sneezing can dislodge the clot in the socket. That is especially true if the tooth was removed from the upper jaw. It’s not always possible to stop sneezing, but try your best to stifle it if one does occur. 

4. Elevate your head and use a cold compress

Elevating your head limits swelling. An ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel on the side of your face for 10-20 minutes will help to alleviate pain.

5. Take prescribed or over the counter medications as instructed

Over-the-counter drugs can be effective for routine procedures, while stronger medications may be needed for more complicated surgeries. Either way, take them as instructed by our team.

Continue regular dental care, like brushing and flossing, but avoid the extracted area. Don’t smoke while the extraction site is healing, especially during the first couple of days.

Better care after an extraction means better overall dental health once you’ve healed. For any tips or questions, contact Dr. Kravets at All Bright Dental today.

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