In their natural form, your teeth is designed for chewing, biting and maintaining the structure of your jawbone and mouth. It is for this reason that a dentist would do anything to protect, restore and repair a patient’s teeth. Nevertheless, at times it becomes inevitable and your dentist has to extract one or more of your teeth.
Your NoFrills Dental practice dentist will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout the extraction procedure. Your dentist will talk to you about the steps you will undergo during the procedure. To make you comfortable during the procedure your dentist may use a local anesthetic to numb the pain.
In case you feel nervous about tooth extraction make sure you discuss your concerns with your dentist. Your dentist will do everything possible to ensure that you are comfortable before starting the procedure.
Guidelines for Tooth Extraction Patients
Tooth extraction is a procedure that involves the removal of a tooth. It may be necessary for a tooth to be extracted if it has decayed, severely damaged by disease or subjected to trauma.
After tooth extraction, you mouth experiences some changes and this is absolutely normal. In case of any concerns or issues it is always advisable that you bring them to your dentist’s attention. We have compiled some basic guidelines that will be helpful in promoting healing after the extraction process, prevent aggravation of the condition and make your experience more pleasant.
To minimize bleeding, a piece of gauze may be placed on the socket where the tooth was extracted. This also helps in blood clotting which is essential for healing. This piece of gauze should not be removed immediately; let it stay for at least 30 minutes after leaving the dentist’s place. Avoid chewing the gauze pack. After removing this piece of gauze, some bleeding might occur. If this happens, do the following:
- Fold a clean piece of gauze thick enough that you can bite it on. Warm some clean water and use it to moisten the pad you have formed. Place the pad directly on to the gap where the tooth was extracted.
- Put pressure on the area of extraction by firmly pressing your teeth on the pad. Keep on applying pressure on the extraction areas for at least thirty minutes. In case the pad gets blood-soaked then remove it and place another clean pad.
- Avoid sucking on the area the tooth was extracted and neither should you poke it using your tongue.
- Expect some blood to ooze from the site of extraction for some time before blood clots. Nevertheless, if too excessive and persistent bleeding occurs then you need to contact your dentist. (But keep in mind that a combination of saliva and small amount of blood may appear as excessive bleeding).
Avoid disturbing the extraction site!
It is normal for a blood clot to form inside the tooth extraction site; clotting is necessary for natural healing. Avoid anything that can get in the way of blood clotting. You can protect the blood clot forming in the extraction site by:
- Not rinsing your mouth forcefully and not taking drinks using straws for at least 24 hours after the extraction procedure. Such activities put pressure on the extraction site and this could damage the blood clot and interrupt the healing process.
- Avoiding alcoholic drinks and mouthwash that contain alcohol for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction.
- Keeping off smoking. You are not supposed to smoke after any surgery. In case you have a smoking problem, discuss it with your dentist who will propose methods of quitting.
- Staying away from vigorous activities for at least 24 hours following tooth extraction. This minimizes bleeding and enhances blood clotting.
- At times even after one or two days after tooth extraction still no blood clot is formed or it gets formed but gets damaged. The outcome is a dry socket which can get extremely painful and you must inform your dentist about it. To minimize pain, your dentist may place a protective cover over the socket until it gets healed.
Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic beforehand so as to minimize pain during the extraction procedure. You will still feel numbness in the mouth for hours after tooth extraction.
Due to the numbness of your mouth, you should be cautious and avoid biting your tongue, cheek or lips. You should also avoid eating any foods which will require chewing with your mouth still numb. Be patient and the numbness will fade away in a couple of hours. However in case the numbness persists then you need to inform your dentist as this is not normal.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean
Avoid cleaning teeth near the socket where a tooth was extracted for at least 24 hours. However ensure the other teeth are well brushed and flossed. You can start cleaning teeth close to the extraction site the following day. Brush the tongue so as to keep away the nasty taste and bad breath which are common to experience after a tooth extraction.
After tooth extraction, ensure that the following day you wash your mouth gently using warm salty water after every meal to remove food particles from the healing socket(mix a half teaspoon of salt into an 8 Ounce drinking glass filled with warm water). Avoid vigorous rinsing because this might disturb the forming blood clot. Patients with hypertension should talk to their dentist about the issue on rinsing the mouth with salty water. Only use mouthwash if your dentist asks you to, otherwise avoid mouthwash for a few hours after the extraction procedure.
In case your dentist recommends some anti-inflammatory or pain relieving medicines after tooth extraction, ensure you use such medicine as prescribed. Avoid taking extra pills or taking the medicine more times than as recommended by your dentist. If you feel that the medicine you have been given is ineffective simply contact your dentist.
Swelling and Pain
It is absolutely normal to experience some pain and swelling after tooth extraction. You can minimize the pain and swelling by placing a cold compress (cold wet cloth or a bag of ice) on the affected area. Your dentist will advise you on how to apply a cold compress including how often and how long the cold compress can be used.
Eating and Drinking
Drink a lot of fluids and take foods that are soft but nutritious. Do not drink hot fluids and alcoholic drinks. Avoid using straw. You can start taking solid foodstuffs the day after tooth extraction or when you feel comfortable enough to chew. Avoid chewing using the side where the tooth was extracted; use the other side instead. Soon you will feel comfortable and you can resume chewing from both sides as normal.
Issues that Require Your Dentist’s Attention
If you are unable to get in touch with your dentist then you should seek assistance from any hospital’s emergency room. You should contact your dentist right away in case you experience any one of the issues mentioned below.
- Vomiting, fever or nausea.
- Persistent or excessive pain, bleeding or swelling.
- An escalating pain
Your dentist will ask to see you again in case you have surgical sutures which need to removed.
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