8 care after tooth extraction

Surgical procedures in which the dentist removes a tooth from the bone where it is housed have certain safeguards. The care after a dental extraction is necessary so that the treated area can heal and recover.

The intervention is performed under local anesthesia, so as not to feel pain. In very specific cases, it is necessary to sleep the patient completely under general anesthesia. The professional, at first, detaches the tooth from the gingival tissue that supports it.

Then, with elevators and tweezers, you will make movements to loosen it and remove it from the socket that houses it. More complex cases require the use of other instruments to cut the gum, remove bone or break teeth into smaller pieces.

When the tooth is outside the mouth, a blood clot forms in the space it occupied, responsible for wound healing. Their care and preservation are vital for a proper recovery. In this article we will tell you why it is necessary to take care of yourself after a tooth extraction and how to do it.

When is it necessary to extract a tooth?

Dental extraction is a fairly common intervention in adults. Although current dentistry tries to keep teeth in the mouth, There are times when tooth removal is unavoidable. These are detailed below:

  • Dental infectionWhen it is not reversed with antibiotics, it happens repeatedly, it cannot be treated with root canals or it spreads to other areas of the body.
  • Risk of infection: patients with a compromised immune system and a tooth that may pose a risk to their health.
  • Cavities: when the disease is very advanced and there is a lot of destruction of the tooth. They are the cases that cannot be solved with fixes or inlays.
  • Tooth fracture or trauma damage: Injuries to teeth caused by blows may require that the teeth or their fragments be excised.
  • Advanced periodontitis: the loss of the tissues that support the teeth can generate mobility of the teeth and the need to extract them.
  • Dental crowding: cases where the teeth are overlapping and crowded. The extraction is complemented with orthodontics.
  • For orthodontic reasons: as part of orthodontic treatment it may be necessary to remove some teeth to create space.
  • Wisdom teeth conditions: When these teeth do not have room to erupt, cause pain, become infected, or cause other problems in the mouth, they must be removed.

Today, dentists are trying to save teeth. However, in many cases there is no choice but to resort to extraction.

Read also: Symptoms and causes of periodontitis

8 tips to take care of yourself after a tooth extraction

After a tooth extraction, postoperative care is very important so that recovery is the least discomforting for the patient. Usually, It will take 7-10 days for the mouth to heal the wound, depending on the type and location of the surgery.

Pain and even swelling with bruises may occur for the first 3 days. Taking care of the blood clot that forms inside the space occupied by the extracted tooth is key to proper healing.

Following the instructions of the dentist is of great importance to avoid inconveniences and have a successful recovery. What must be considered? Apply the following tips.

1. Apply pressure with the gauze

The dentist, after surgery, will place a folded gauze and bite it. This pressure should be maintained for the first 30 to 60 minutes (the professional will establish it according to each case).

Its placement is to stop bleeding and promote clot formation. As we already mentioned, the plug of blood in the space left by the tooth is necessary for the closure of the wound.

The gauze should not be left on for long as the clot could stick to it. In this way, once it is removed, the socket would be empty, which would complicate healing.

When the indicated time elapses, the gauze is removed and nothing else is placed. In the case of excessive bleeding that does not stop with time, placing gauze and applying pressure is useful, but the professional should be consulted.

2. Apply cold to the area

Cold helps reduce inflammation, prevent bruising, and soothe pain. For this reason, applying ice packs on the face near the intervened area is very helpful.

The cold should be placed immediately after surgery, at intervals of no more than 10 minutes. Then, it rests the same time and can be repeated again. Leaving ice packs on the skin for a long time damages the tissues.

In addition, it is important to avoid close proximity to heat sources, such as the stove, heating and kitchens. It is also not convenient to sunbathe or go outside if the weather is hot.

3. Eat soft and cold foods

After tooth extraction, it is advisable to avoid eating very hot food. To promote recovery and reduce effort in the area, it is best to consume soft, crushed and easy-to-chew products.

Soft, cold foods such as smoothies, ice cream, yogurts, cold soups, and puddings are ideal. Hard foods, crunchy or with small seeds should be avoided.

A balanced diet, which contains pasta, eggs, fish, dairy products and cooked vegetables will provide the necessary nutrients, in addition to having the ideal consistency. The zinc present in green vegetables and the vitamin C in citrus fruits contribute to healing.

It is important to avoid consuming these foods with items such as sorbets. Instead, use spoons and sip gently. The toughest foods can be incorporated gradually, but it is advisable to continue with this care for a week.

4. Rest and not exercise

Limiting physical activity and exertion after tooth extraction helps prevent complications after surgery. It is advisable not to speak too much or move the mouth excessively.

Resting and resting with the head elevated and in a more sitting position is necessary. The horizontal position favors pain and bleeding due to the accumulation of blood. Placing some pillows and cushions on the bed is helpful when sleeping.

5. Take the medication indicated by the professional

After tooth extraction, and when the effect of anesthesia wears off, symptoms such as pain and inflammation appear. For this reason, the dentist usually prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs in order to reduce discomfort.

If the tooth extraction was done for the presence of an infection, the person may already be taking antibiotics. If not, they will probably be prescribed after the extraction. They should be consumed at the corresponding time, without skipping doses, until completing the treatment for the days indicated.

On the other hand, the patient should tell the professional if they consume other types of medications. This to determine if suspension or replacement is necessary prior to surgery.

After the extraction of a tooth, the professional may suggest taking pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling.

6. Do not suck or rinse your mouth

Preventing the blood clot that forms in the socket from shedding is vital for healing. If it comes off, you run the risk of getting an infection or dry socket.

Therefore, it is best to avoid mouthwash, gargle, swish or spit with force. Also, suction movements should be limited, as they increase the risk of loosening the blood plug.

7. No smoking

The use of cigarettes after tooth extraction is harmful and counterproductive. As we already mentioned, the suction movement can lead to clot shedding.

Heat favors bleeding and the risk of bleeding. And, as if that were not enough, tobacco predisposes to infection due to impaired circulation in the area and the presence of toxins.

8. Keep your mouth clean

It is necessary to keep the oral cavity clean after tooth extraction to avoid infection. You should continue brushing and flossing as usual, with softer movements, but avoiding the extraction area.

Brushing the tongue is helpful in reducing odor and taste that is generated in the healing process. It is important to ensure that food debris does not accumulate in the wound.

After a few days, mild rinses can be done with warm water and salt or some mouthwash without alcohol. It is convenient not to spit them out, but to let them fall alone.

It may interest you: Guide on the use of mouthwash

Why is it important to take care of yourself after tooth extraction?

Ensuring care after tooth extraction is essential to avoid complications. Wound closure takes 7-10 days. Then, deep down, new bone will be generated to replace the space left.

So that, complying with the professional's instructions reduces postoperative risks. The latter include the following:

  • Hemorrhage: the wound continues to bleed profusely and without stopping several hours after extraction.
  • Infection: the extraction site smells bad, hurts, throbs, swells, and drains. The face and neck may look swollen, hot, and sore.
  • Dry socket: due to a detachment of the clot, the site of the tooth is left empty, leaving the bone exposed. It is a very painful condition. The dentist must generate new bleeding and place dressings to begin another healing process.

Without proper postoperative care, patients can experience complications after tooth extraction.

When to see the dentist after tooth extraction?

It may be that despite complying with all the care after a dental extraction, some of the complications mentioned may occur. If so, it is best to go urgently to the nearest dentist or hospital.

A healthcare professional should be consulted if the following symptoms occur:

  • Pain and discomfort that do not go away after 2 to 3 days after the extraction. '
  • Discomfort or pain that radiates to other parts of the body (ear, head or neck).
  • Swelling or swelling in the face or neck.
  • Presence of pus in the mouth and in the wound.
  • Excessive bleeding that doesn't stop when you bite down on gauze.
  • High fever with general malaise, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Tingling, cramping, or numbness in the area after the anesthesia wears off.
  • Sensation of pressure under the tongue.
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking.
  • Cough and chest pain.

If after the extraction everything goes well, it is also advisable to return to the dentist to check the healing and discuss the possibilities of replacing the lost tooth. The professional will be the one who best advises on the alternatives to rehabilitate the mouth and recover function and aesthetics.

Get back the smile

Undergoing a tooth extraction can generate fear and anxiety in the patient who needs it, because it is a surgical act that carries risks and complications. The loss of a tooth also implies thinking of a way to replace it.

Therefore, after the extraction, you should talk with the dentist about the possibilities of making a denture, a fixed bridge or an implant. In addition, it is essential to apply the care after the extraction so that the recovery is as less traumatic as possible.

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