A dental extraction is the removal of one or more teeth from your jaws. Extraction procedures performed by your dentist can be classified as either simple tooth extraction or surgical extraction.

The extraction procedure is usually safe, and following the post-extraction instructions given by your dentist can result in faster healing.

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Your dentist can recommend extractions for various reasons like:

  • Damaged tooth due to trauma or tooth decay and infection
  • Gum or periodontal disease
  • Crowding of teeth
  • Impacted teeth
  • For immunocompromised patients who are at risk of infection

Although dental extractions are routine, complications can arise like any other surgery.

To avoid this, you need to follow proper dental extraction aftercare guidelines.

Post-Extraction Instructions

Here are some dos and don’ts after tooth extraction:

Do’s

  • Take enough rest
  • Gently bite the gauze [1]
  • Use ice packs externally
  • Apply warm compresses
  • Rinse with salt water* (2nd day) [2]
  • Eat soft foods
  • Take plenty of fluids
  • Support the head with pillows
  • Brush & clean the area daily
  • Shift to solid food after a week
*Mix half teaspoon salt with 8 ounces of warm water to make a saltwater solution at home.
How To Place Gauze Properly

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Don’ts

  • Straws for drinking fluids
  • Over-the-counter mouthwashes for rinsing
  • Rinsing the mouth and spitting forcibly for a couple of days
  • Hot, spicy & crispy foods for a week
  • Smoking can delay healing process & dislodge the clot. [3]
  • Physical activity on 1st day

Tooth-extraction-dos-and-donts

Do’s and Don’ts After Tooth Extraction

How to Manage Pain After Tooth Extraction?

Pain, discomfort, or soreness after the extraction is not uncommon, but can be readily managed by simple self-care tips:

how-to-Manage-Pain-After-Tooth-Extraction

Ways to Manage Pain After Tooth Extraction

You should follow your dentist’s tooth extraction aftercare protocols to aid pain management.

Pain medications advised by your dentist can give much-needed relief in the first few days. [4]

Commonly given painkillers include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Also, some antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent further infection.

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Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare

After wisdom tooth removal, you may experience pain for several days to one week. [5] Moreover,

  • Limit your activities for at least a couple of days.
  • Avoid spitting or brushing on the surgical site until it heals completely.
  • Do warm salt water gargling to keep the area clean and avoid infection.
  • Take proper rest to avoid dislodgement of the clot or damage the stitches.
  • Take the prescribed medications for relief of symptoms & faster healing.

The pain and swelling should subside gradually. But if you experience any intense pain, visit your dentist.

Post Extraction Complications

Dental tooth extraction is usually safe and is done routinely. However, some commonly experienced complications include: [6]

Post-Extraction-Complications

Post Extraction Complications

There could also be complications like fever, rashes, nausea, vomiting, cough, breathlessness, dry socket, swelling, and redness.

You should consult your dentist if you experience excessive and prolonged bleeding or discharge from the extraction site or severe/worsening pain.

Dry Socket

Dry socket is the most common complication generally seen after surgical removal of wisdom teeth.

The dislodgement of the blood clot exposing the bone leads to more severe pain in your extraction site.

The pain may last for several days, and your dentist may place a medicated dressing or prescribe antibiotics.

Follow these tips to avoid dry socket: [7]

  • Maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Take medications as advised by your dentist.
  • Do not use a straw, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot.
  • Do not eat hard and crunchy food immediately after the extraction.
  • Avoid smoking, as it leads to an increased incidence of the dry socket. [8]
Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Final Word

Although tooth extraction can be a painful procedure, sedation and medication make it tolerable during and after the process.

Above mentioned post-operative extraction instructions can help you manage the discomfort and pain well.

With proper care, you will experience complete healing within two weeks, enabling you to return to your regular diet and lifestyle.

FAQs

Do not rinse your mouth for at least a day after surgery. Then refrain from spitting and let liquid dribble out for a few days.

You should have softer foods and try to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Brush normally, but avoid brushing over your extraction site.

Self-care tips post-extraction: [9]

  • Avoid intense physical activity within the first 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Apply ice immediately after extraction to reduce pain and swelling [10]
  • Use bite pressure on your gauze pad to control bleeding
  • Do not brush over the extraction site for 3 to 4 days
  • Stop smoking to facilitate faster healing
  • Do not spit

If you experience intense pain, visit your dentist.

You can eat soft food once the anesthesia has worn off. It may take two weeks to return to normal eating and diet. Depending on your healing, you can gradually shift to solid food, which may take 3 to 4 weeks.

Tips for facilitating faster healing post-extraction:

  • Take medications as advised by your doctor.
  • Avoid mouthwash; use warm salt water to gargle.
  • Do not use the straw while drinking any beverages.
  • Eat soft food and avoid chewing on the extraction site.
  • Rest well for the first 24 hours; avoid strenuous activities.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking in the first 48 hours after the extraction.
  • Do not touch the wound with tongue or brush. It can delay the recovery.

Follow these tooth extraction instructions as these simple but effective guidelines help the faster recovery of the extraction site.

A surgical extraction may take around 5 to 6 weeks for the tooth hole to close fully. However, complete healing of the gums and bones takes a few months. [11]

It typically takes 3 to 4 days to recover from wisdom tooth removal. However, recovery is case-dependent. Many factors can influence how a patient feels after surgery.

More complex extractions like full or partial impactions, root anatomy, and compromised tooth structure take longer to heal. Surgical extractions might take a week to recover. [12]

You can have your food usually one hour after the extraction of your wisdom teeth. However, eat softer foods for at least the first 24 hours. Avoid hot beverages or food for one or two days.

Tooth extraction pain gradually decreases after three days. It should significantly subside in a week, although the complete healing process requires two weeks. The void can take months to fill.

However, if the pain continues even after two weeks, you should visit your dentist.

Wisdom tooth extraction pain may last for 3 to 4 days. It is common to have mild to moderate pain and is generally not alarming.

This pain after tooth extraction can be managed with proper care, medications, and following the postoperative extraction instructions.

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