Dental problems are very common, with up to 90% of school-aged children and adults dealing with at least one cavity and up to 20% of adults aged 35-44 experiencing gum disease. In most countries, up to 10 of every 100,000 people deal with oral cancer.
All of these factors can lead to significant tooth damage. Sometimes, certain oral conditions call for tooth extraction as treatment. And if that’s the case, you’ll need to know some steps of care to ensure a swift recovery. Here are some tips to speed up the healing process.
Residents of Marmaroneck, New York, and Stamford, Connecticut, can count on Dr. Gennadiy Kravets and his dedicated team at All Bright Dental.
The extraction process
Before the procedure begins, you might be instructed to stop taking certain medications or be given antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection.
You’ll be given a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Sometimes we can remove the entire tooth with forceps, while more complex situations can call for making an incision in the gums and bone so the tooth can be removed in pieces.
While the procedure is painless, you might hear some unusual noises during the procedure. If you feel any pain during the process, more anesthetic will be administered to keep you comfortable.
Once complete, the wound will be stitched, and the empty socket is filled with gauze. You’ll need to bite down on the gauze so a clot can form.
How to speed up your recovery
Bleeding is normal after the extraction for up to a day, and during that time, you’ll need to avoid doing anything to alter the position of the gauze in the extracted area. It can take up to three days for the pain to decrease after the anesthetic has worn off.
Here are some essential steps to speed up your recovery:
1. Use gauze for as long as necessary
Change the gauze as necessary. The gauze assists in clot formation.
2. Minimize swelling
Use ice on your cheek for up to 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. In the first two days after the extraction, avoid anything that can irritate the wound, like hot liquids or alcohol.
3. Take prescribed medications
Once home, you’ll likely have antibiotics and other pain relievers prescribed to you. Follow the directions to speed up the healing process.
4. Use a dental rinse when it is safe to do so
Rinsing during the first two days after the extraction increases the risk of loosening the clot. After that, you can rinse with warm salt water or a saline rinse to kill bacteria and keep the healing tissues healthy.
5. Watch your diet
A diet of soft, healthy foods, like yogurts and soups, can keep you from chewing too. Avoid nuts, hard candy, steak, or chewing ice.
6. Brush and floss carefully
Once it’s safe to brush and floss, be careful about cleaning near the extraction site because you don’t want to cause bleeding or dislodge the clot. Carefully clean around the teeth next to the extraction site.
These helpful hints can make for a quick recovery, so follow them carefully and avoid habits like smoking. Make an appointment with Dr. Kravets and All Bright Dental if you have any concerns before or after your extraction.