An extraction means to have a tooth removed from the gum socket, typically as a result of disease, infection, trauma or crowding. Before the extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will numb the area to minimize any pain or discomfort. Once the tooth is removed, a small amount of bleeding is completely normal. Eventually a blood clot will form and fill in the bone where the tooth had been.
Pain After Extractions
If you experience any pain after an extraction, follow these suggestions.
- Apply a cold cloth or ice pack to minimize any swelling.
- Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist.
- To control bleeding, bite firmly on a piece of gauze or a tea bag.
- Contact your dentist if you experience any nausea, vomiting or heavy bleeding 24 hours after the extraction.
Recovery from Extractions
To speed up your recovery time after an extraction, follow these general guidelines, making sure to adhere to any specific instructions from your dentist.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol as these may inhibit healing.
- Refrain from spitting, rinsing vigorously, or drinking through a straw to avoid dislodging the blood clot. After 24 hours, you may gently rinse with a salt-water solution.
- Follow a diet suggested by your dentist. Usually soft, nutritious foods and plenty of fluids are recommended.
- Limit vigorous activity for 24 hours. While resting or sleeping, elevate your head slightly.
- Brush and floss your other teeth as usual, carefully avoiding the area of the extraction until healed.
“I like to remind my patients to take any pain medication before the anesthesia wears off. This helps stay prevent any discomfort while waiting for the pain medication to take effect,” said General Dentist Donald Gundlach.
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