Tooth extraction aftercare

After a tooth is extracted there are certain instructions that need to be followed in order to minimize the possibility of any complications after the surgical removal of a tooth. The instructions are usually broken down into what is allowed and not allowed in the first 24 hours. A second set of instructions is then included for the second 24 hours after the surgical extraction of the tooth. These instructions will help you to start off the healing process in a positive way.

The first thing that needs to be addressed is to make sure that any bleeding I controlled. It is common for some bleeding to occur after an extraction however it is usually controlled by placing a moist gauze over the area and holding it there firmly for approximately one hour. This is usually accomplished by biting down on the gauze. The pressure should be maintained steadily for that length of time. The gauze should not be removed and replaced. Just leave the gauze in and keep pressure on it in a consistent manner. If the bleeding does not stop then placing a tea bag over the area may do the trick. Tannic acid a component in tea helps in the clotting process. Moisten the tea bag and place it on the empty socket. If bleeding persists in small amounts repeat the procedure. If bleeding increases or becomes heavy, it is time to consult the dentist.

A clot needs to form in order for the socket to heal properly. It is important that the clot not be dislodged. Therefore you should not do activities that could dislodge the clot. This includes sucking through a straw or smoking. It also means no drinking hot liquids or eating hot soups or other liquids as that could dissolve the clot. You would also avoid gargling, heavy rinsing or spitting very hard for the first 24 hours.

There may be some swelling of the cheek or that side of the face due to the extraction. Swelling can be kept to a minimum by placing an ice pack on the face where the extraction took place. Keep the ice pack on for approximately 10-15 minutes then remove it for up to 20 minutes and repeat the process. This procedure can be repeated for the first 24 hours.

There will be pain after the numbing medication used during the extraction procedure has had time to wear off. Your dentist may have given you medication to help with the pain. Please follow your dentist’s instructions concerning pain medication after your extraction. Read the label of any medication to make sure you are taking it properly. If the medication is a narcotic it might be wise to take it with food as some of those medications can cause nausea. Avoid driving or operating any type of machinery while taking medications that have any type of narcotic in them.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics after your procedure you should take them as they have been directed. You should take the whole bottle of medication. It is very important that you do not stop taking the antibiotic before it is gone. This can cause bacteria to come back at a later date that is resistant to the medication you are taking and will be harder to kill.

Limit your activities for the first 24 hours after your tooth has been extracted. This includes anything that could cause your socket to start bleeding. It is best to keep activities to a minimum and only do light activities for the first 24 hours after your extraction.

You should eat a liquid or soft diet for the first 24 hours after your tooth has been extracted. Remember that foods should not be hot when eaten. You should not drink any alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours or while taking any pain medication that contains narcotics.

Gently brush your teeth at bedtime after your extraction. Do not gargle rinse forcefully or spit for 24 hours afterwards. Brush your teeth the next day but avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully.

Report to your dentist any increased swelling, heavy bleeding, incidence of fever over 100 degrees, increased pain or signs of infection.

Last updated on Sep 22nd, 2009 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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