When you’ve had a tooth pulled, the procedure itself is pretty straightforward. But whether it be a wisdom tooth, a tooth extracted due to decay, overcrowding, or to make room for a dental implant, when the procedure is complete, what you’ll have left is called an empty socket. This is an opening in your gums that used to be occupied by the tooth’s root structure but is now closed by either a blood clot, a suture, or both.
In the first several days, your main healing goal will be to keep the socket clean while still preserving the clot. Here is a quick run-down of handling after-care for tooth extraction in Webster Groves, MO.
Immediately After Your Extraction
For the hours right after your dental extraction procedure, it’s normal to experience the following:
- Some discomfort
- Jaw, gum, and tooth tenderness
One of your primary considerations is what foods you choose to eat throughout the healing process. On the day of your extraction, you should eat only soft or liquified food and avoid anything overly hot. You want to avoid anything that would damage your clot. Hot liquids could dissolve it; sticky foods could pull it out. This healing tissue is essential to the healing process.
Remember: your socket is just a big opening that will inevitably attract food debris. You can gently rinse your mouth with warm, clear water. And top of the list of things you should avoid is any suction inside your mouth. So no smoking cigarettes or drinking through a straw.
The Dental Extraction Healing Process
Most healing should occur for the first two to three days after your dentist pulls a tooth. You should gently brush and floss your other teeth during this time but stay away from the open socket for at least a week or two. Additionally, you should follow these guidelines.
Don’t exert yourself: the first day after the extraction, get plenty of rest. Then for the next three to five days, take it easy. Causing an excessive or sustained increase in heart rate could dislodge your blood clot.
Use gauze as directed: if Dr. Matthew Wenzel, DMD, advises you to use gauze to protect your socket, follow his directions closely and change it as needed.
Manage your pain: for most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers should be sufficient, but your more extensive extractions, you may be prescribed a more potent analgesic. Always use medication as directed.
Sleep with your head elevated: this will decrease the pressure on your blood clot.
A cold cloth or ice bag is an excellent way to treat any minor swelling, but if inflammation persists for more than a few days, you should call Webster Groves Dental to report any other symptoms you may be experiencing. Our main priority is to ensure you heal properly to discuss your options for tooth restoration.
Contact Our Webster Groves Dentist Office
Having a tooth pulled is routine and, with proper care, will heal relatively quickly. However, if you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact Webster Groves Dental at (314) 918-9666 to receive the care you need.