After Dental Extractions
Having strong and healthy teeth is important. Usually dentists try and save natural teeth if at all possible. Sometimes, however, the best option is simply to extract a tooth and look at other options. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes injury has damaged a tooth, for example, or an infection has set in and cannot be fully cleaned. Whatever the reason, it is important to understand that tooth extraction is a common procedure and you should not worry yourself about what you will experience. The most important thing you can do is to focus on how to take care of your mouth after the surgery is complete, as this will impact healing time.
One of the most important parts of the healing process is the formation of a blood clot over your wound. It’s natural to experience bleeding, so do not worry if your wound oozes. In order to help control the blood and get that clot to form, we ask you to take a clean gauze pad and place it over the wound. Bite down on this pad for thirty minutes to forty-five minutes, and do not let up on the pressure. This steady bite will help to slow the bleeding. This might need to be repeated a few times, so don’t worry if you find yourself replacing the gauze a few times and moving through the steps again.
Diet and Exercise
Because the blood clot is so important to the healing process, we ask that you be careful about disturbing it. This means that you should rest the 24 hours after surgery and avoid exercise or strenuous activity, as both of these can cause the clot to become dislodged or dissolved. Additionally, you must be careful about what you eat and drink during this time. Stick with plenty of fluids and extremely soft food. Remember to avoid hot food or beverages, too, as the heat can affect the clot and cause it to dissolve.
Experiencing some pain after an extraction is normal. You should begin taking your pain medication when the local anesthetic begins to wear off, and take it at the maximum dose indicated on the bottle. Take this medication regularly, as it is better to stay head of dental pain than to try and play “catch up” after it has already set in. If you have been given a prescription pain medication, take that as directed. Otherwise, you can try OTC painkillers.
Do not strongly rinse your mouth, whether that be with mouthwash or with water, for the first 24 hours after surgery. Again, this can dislodge the blood clot, as can using a straw. You should maintain your oral hygiene routine and gently brush and floss the rest of your teeth, but defer to your wound and make sure you aren’t disturbing it. Move slowly and cautiously, in other words, and stop if you find the blood clot is becoming dislodged.
If you have any questions after your extraction surgery, please reach out to us at 705-302-0357. We are happy to provide further guidance.