After tooth extraction (FAQ’s)
After removal of one or more teeth, your dentist will instruct you about post-extraction care but still you come back home with lot of questions in your mind. In previous articles, we have discussed about ‘tooth removal – causes, procedure and post extraction care‘, as well as ‘wisdom tooth removal‘. Here we are going to discuss about some frequently asked questions ‘After tooth extraction’.
# How long does the pain last after tooth extraction?
(or) I am having pain in gum after tooth extraction, what should I do?
This is the most common question asked by patient. Some pain or discomfort is normal after tooth removal surgery which can be controlled by taking pain medication prescribed by your dentist / oral surgeon. You should start taking prescribed medication immediately – don’t wait until pain start.
# I am still having pain, what should I do?
Pain that last for more than a week but decreasing gradually, you need to see dentist. He may advise stronger pain-killers. But, the severe pain 2-3 days after tooth removal and getting worsen may be due to dry socket. Dry socket is a condition which occurs when healing tissue (blood clot) doesn’t get formed normally or it gets dislodged from the tooth socket. It is common complication that about 5% patients may experience. You need to visit dentist as soon as possible, dentist will give medicated dressing so as to stop pain.
# Bleeding after tooth extraction -
Your dentist will ask you to bite on the cotton gauze pack placed over extraction site for 45 minutes to 1 hour, after that remove it gently. Maintain constant pressure or gauze (No talking or chewing). Do not spit or suck through a straw. If bleeding persists at home, place a clean gauze pad over the socket & bite it firmly for 30 minutes.
You can also bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. (Tannic acid in the tea bag helps to from a clot by contracting bleeding vessels).
Some blood will ooze from the area of surgery for several hours which is normal.
Don’t get afraid finding excess amount of blood while spitting, small amount of blood get mixed with large quantity of saliva which make it look like excessive bleeding.
# I am having swelling after tooth extraction, what should I do?
Swelling or sometimes bruising after tooth extraction especially after wisdom tooth removal, is normal body reaction, applying ice packs over the area for the first 24 hours and not longer than 20 minutes at a time, helps to control swelling. Do not use hot fermentation (do not apply heat).
# I am having fever after tooth extraction, what should I do?
Low grade temperature (99-100F) for 7-10 days following tooth removal is normal. If you are experiencing high grade fever, you need to consult dentist/physician.
# Exercise after tooth extraction?
Don’t exercise for at least 12 to 24 hours after tooth extraction. Taking proper rest is recommended. First nights following tooth removal, if you want to lie down, keep your head up by taking support of pillow. This will help to minimise the swelling. Avoid bending over or heavy lifting for at least 2-3 days.
# Eating after tooth extraction?
Following instructions about diet after tooth extraction is very important.
Use soft or liquid diet high in protein.
Drink large amount of water & fruit juices (Do not use straw).
Avoid hot food for a whole day after tooth removal.
# Brushing after tooth extraction?
(or) How to clean healing area after tooth extraction?
You need to take proper care while brushing in healing area. Be careful not to dislodge blood clot from healing area, do careful brushing in extraction area for 3 to 4 days. You can also wipe out area with clean cotton gauze.
Dentist may also advise you mouth wash as adjunct (and not as alternative for tooth brushing) especially when there is swelling or discomfort, where brush will not reach.
# How healing take place after tooth extraction?
As we already mentioned, healing after tooth extraction requires blood clot which is formed in bony socket from where tooth is removed. This blood clot allows area to heal by covering the socket. Following post-extraction instructions given by your dentist properly, you can take proper care of healing area minimising chances of dislodgement of blood clot.
The gum area may be tender for 3-4 days after tooth extraction. Usually gums will completely heal within 3-4 weeks after tooth extraction whereas bone can take upto 6 months or more to heal completely.
Sometimes piece of bone make its way to the surface and you may feel sharp edges of healing socket by tongue. This is absolutely normal and if you are having more discomfort then you may ask your dentist to remove piece of bone.
Stitches after tooth extraction?
If your dentist have given you stitches especially after wisdom tooth extraction, then you need to visit dentist after 5 to 7 days for removal of stitches if stitches given are not dissolvable and also if stitches which are dissolvable but they are not dissolving.
# Special care after tooth extraction :
Don’t drive an automobile or work around heavy machinery under pain medication.
Do not mix alcohol & pain medication.
Alcohol may also delay healing process.
Do not smoke under any circumstances (at least for 48 hours after surgery). Smoking may interfere with healing process and sucking may cause dislodgement of blood clot.
Follow all post-extraction instructions properly and avoid any complications.
If you have any question in mind, you can ask at the end of article in comment section.