It seems like it’s never a good time for a tooth extraction. You know you’re in good hands when you select a reliable surgeon who will minimize your discomfort throughout the procedure, but as with any surgical appointment, there’s going to be a recovery period.
You no longer have control over the dental condition that led to the need for a tooth extraction, and maybe you never did in the first place. The good news? You do have a certain amount of control over how your recovery goes, and certain choices can help you bounce back faster.
Factors That Affect Recovery Speed
The reasons are numerous for a tooth extraction, and in many cases you aren’t able to avoid it. Maybe your wisdom teeth are impacted, or are on track to interfere with your orthodontic work. Maybe periodontal disease has loosened and damaged a tooth beyond repair. Maybe you were in an accident, and now a fractured tooth must be removed.
No matter the cause, the extent of the issue prior to your tooth extraction will affect your recovery speed. If you had a deep infection, that has to heal along with your now-empty tooth socket before you will feel normal again. If you are naturally more sensitive in your gums, you may find it takes longer to recover as well.
Immediately Following Your Procedure
However, if you follow the guidelines set forth by your oral surgeon, you could improve your recovery speed, and it all starts with what you do right after your procedure.
The first step is to get control of the bleeding. Bite down gently on a piece of gauze until a clot forms. During the first day, take care not to irritate the area. It’s important to rest in order to let the anesthesia wear off, and to control swelling. Eat only soft or pureed foods, and avoid hot liquids during the first 24 hours. Don’t chew anything.
Drink plenty of water, and commit to following your oral surgeon’s antibiotic prescription. While you may not feel the need for any pain medication, you must complete your antibiotic regimen to ward off infection.
Diet and Hygiene Suggestions
Once the first 24 hours is over, you can begin to eat a wider variety of solid foods. However, avoid chewing near the tooth extraction site. After eating, gently rinse your mouth out with salt water. You can begin brushing your teeth, as long as you continue to avoid the extraction site.
When Is Pain Considered Abnormal?
Sure, you’re going to feel uncomfortable at times throughout the healing process, but how do you know when the pain you’re feeling is unusual and calls for a professional examination? It’s completely normal to have a stiff jaw, a sore throat, bruising, or a dry mouth and lips after a tooth extraction, but you should never ignore certain symptoms.
If you have a fever or feel nauseous after the anesthetic has worn off, get in contact with your oral surgeon right away. If the tooth extraction site continues to bleed without forming a clot, it’s time for an emergency examination. If you feel severe pain and need to take pain medication around the clock, alert your oral surgeon to this issue.
For all of your tooth extraction needs, both before, during and after the procedure, you can trust the team at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. We will help make sure your tooth extraction procedure goes quickly, smoothly and with the least amount of discomfort possible.