Effective Post-Extraction Care Tips
Also known as tooth removal, tooth extraction is the process of completely removing a tooth from its socket. Several factors necessitate tooth extraction. At the office of Dr. Al Gulum DDS, here are some common reasons for extraction:
- Severe Tooth Decay: When detected in its early stages, there is a high chance of cavities being treated. This, however, isn’t the case when caught in its advanced stages. Advanced tooth decay is an indication of continuous neglection of your oral health, seeing as tooth decay occurs in stages. Although your dentist’s number one job is conserving your teeth, this may not be possible if your tooth is badly damaged. It will have to be removed before the rot spreads to the other teeth.
- Gum Disease: Left untreated, gum disease could degenerate your teeth’s supporting structures. Consequently, your teeth could loosen and fall off by themselves or with the aid of teeth extraction.
- Overcrowded Teeth: Sometimes, for the sake of orthodontic treatment, some of the excessive teeth in your mouth will have to be removed.
- Impacted Teeth: These are teeth that develop below the gum line and may grow at awkward angles causing complications in the mouth. They have to be extracted.
- Broken Teeth: Following trauma to the mouth, a large portion of your teeth could fall off. The remaining piece might barely support any tooth restoration devices, so there will be a need for extraction.
Your dentist could choose to go with simple or surgical extraction depending on your tooth’s condition–is it impacted or visible?
A simple extraction is performed on straightforward procedures that take a shorter time. During the whole procedure, you will be under local anesthetic. The dentist uses an elevator to make the tooth come loose. When this is done, a pair of forceps is used to remove it.
If your tooth is impacted and the extraction procedure is expected to take longer, the dentist performs surgical extraction. The procedure is invasive, and you will be administered both intravenous and local anesthesia.
After the procedure has been a success, your dentist may give you a list of instructions to adhere to for purposes of speeding up recovery.
- Getting Plenty of Rest: After beating the anxiety and finally undergoing the procedure, you could surely use some rest. Take at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Taking Good Care of the Gauze: After the extraction, your dentist may place some gauze at the extraction site. Do not remove it to allow for clot formation. Afterward, you can change the gauze as necessary.
- Taking Pain Relievers: They help bring down the inflammation and pain.
- Using Cold Compresses: Place a pack of ice on the affected part of your face to numb the pain.
- Elevating your Head: Use extra pillows to ensure your head is at an elevated position. Lying flat increases the chances of blood pooling in your head and prolonging healing time.
- Take Prescribed Medications: The dentist may recommend some medications before you leave the clinic. Ensure you complete the dosage.
- Saline Rinses: With the clot formed, you can rinse your mouth using a salt solution. The solution kills harmful mouth bacteria preventing infections during the healing stage.
- Maintaining acceptable oral hygiene practices
- Eating soft foods that require minimal chewing
Dentists recommend against:
- Using Straws: It exerts too much pressure on the wound and could easily dislodge the blood clot.
- Spitting: This too exerts pressure in the mouth and could dislodge the formed blood clot.
- Smoking: Besides creating a lot of pressure in the mouth, smoking also slows down the recovery process.
- Eating Solid Foods: During the first few days after the extraction, it is best to eat soft foods. With time, you can start introducing other foods to your diet.
- Using Aspirin: The drug is a blood thinner, thus will delay the formation of a blood clot, preventing healing.
- Sucking: This includes sipping, smoking, and feeding on hard vegetables.
- Pocking in the Gap: It could provoke bleeding, delay healing, or even result in a dry socket.
Consuming hot foods and beverages
- Brushing the extraction site during the few days following the procedure
- Engaging in strenuous exercises immediately after the extraction.
If any concerns arise during the recovery period, do not ignore them. Instead, get in touch with your oral surgeon and let them know.