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Tooth Extraction: Recovery & Aftercare 

March 17, 2022

After undergoing a tooth extraction, it’s crucial to adopt specific care practices to ensure a smooth and swift healing process. Implementing certain measures from day one can significantly enhance your comfort and expedite recovery.

Control Bleeding

To manage bleeding, maintain pressure on the gauze your dentist has placed by biting down firmly. If bleeding is persistent, consider biting on a clean tea bag. The tannic acid present in tea helps in clot formation. Continue applying pressure until bleeding ceases. A small amount of bleeding is expected on the first day.

Alleviate Pain

To mitigate discomfort, follow your dentist’s instructions for prescribed medications. Avoid operating vehicles if you’re taking narcotics for pain, as they can induce drowsiness. Consult your dentist about the possibility of using over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.

Diminish Swelling

Applying an ice pack to the cheek adjacent to the extraction area can help minimize swelling. Create an ice pack by enclosing ice in a plastic bag and wrapping it with a thin cloth. Place it against your cheek in 10-minute intervals, followed by a 5-minute break. Repeat as needed. Bruising may occur, which is a normal part of the healing process.

Ensure Adequate Rest

Refrain from strenuous activities for at least 24 hours post-extraction. Take it easy during the day and aim for an early bedtime. Elevate your head slightly when resting or sleeping to aid in recovery.

Recommended Practices

Here are some beneficial practices to aid in the healing of your mouth.

  • Consume soft, nutritious foods and stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.
  • Gently brush your teeth, avoiding the extraction area, and refrain from using toothpaste that could dislodge the clot when rinsing.
  • Keep the extraction site clean. After 12 hours, you may gently rinse with a saline solution (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) four times a day, after consulting with your dentist.

Activities to Avoid

Here are some actions to avoid to ensure a smooth healing process.

  • Avoid using straws as the suction can displace the blood clot.
  • Steer clear of hot beverages and limit alcohol consumption, as they can exacerbate swelling and impede healing.
  • Refrain from smoking, which can disrupt the clot and lead to complications.

Be gentle when rinsing to avoid dislodging the blood clot.

Contact Your Dentist

If you experience any of the following, reach out to your dentist promptly:

  • Increasing pain after the first day post-extraction.
  • Difficulty in controlling bleeding.
  • Worsening swelling around the extraction site.
  • Adverse reactions, such as itching or rashes, after taking prescribed medications.
Posted in Uncategorized by Dr. Gregory Hurt DDS

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