How Should I Recover From a Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extractions are performed for a variety of patients for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons for an extraction, particularly in adult patients, is due to gum disease. Gum disease can loosen teeth and present enough of a future problem to be permanently pulled. In cases of severe periodontal disease, the tooth must be pulled to stop the spread of infection to the rest of the mouth. When an extraction is performed, we provide anesthesia to numb the treatment area and place stitches in the mouth where the tooth is removed. In many cases, the extraction is replaced with dentures, a bridge, or a dental implant.

The most pressing questions that our patients have about extractions revolve around recovery and prognosis. Our team, as well as other dentists across the country, advise that patients take the following steps to experience a healthy and safe recovery:

– Apply ice to the treatment area to reduce swelling. If you’ve been prescribed painkillers, make sure you take them, as directed.

– Once 24 hours has gone by, you may rinse your mouth out with salt water (1 tsp salt in 8 oz of water).

– Avoid smoking and physical activity after the procedure.

– Replace gauze pads, as needed.

– Refrain from lying flat on your back or stomach, as this can promote bleeding. We recommend propping your head up with pillows, if possible.

– Avoid rubbing the treatment area with your tongue and using sucking motions when eating or drinking. 

– Continue proper dental hygiene techniques as normal. 

While this list may seem long, these steps can help to ensure that patients recovery properly after any tooth extraction.

If you have any lingering questions about tooth extractions, or if you would like to schedule a dental exam, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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