Each patient is different. But in general, it will take between 7 and 10 days for the tooth extraction site to heal. In the meantime, it’s important that you don’t dislodge the blood clot in the tooth’s socket so you can avoid unnecessary pain and return to your normal activities as soon as possible.
In this blog post, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we get from patients regarding tooth extraction. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions that aren’t answered here or you’d like more explanation.
How Can I Make My Extraction Site Heal Faster?
It takes time for the body to heal itself after a tooth has been extracted. It’s important that you remain patient during this time and give your body the time it needs to recover. Returning to your normal activities too soon may prolong the healing process in the long run and undo any progress you may have made.
Following your dentist’s instructions will help you heal in a timely manner. But always remember that healing can’t be rushed.
How Do I Relieve Pain After Tooth Extraction?
Take any pain relievers as directed by our dentists. We also recommend applying an ice pack to your cheek for no longer than 10 minutes when you get home. You should not leave the ice pack on for longer than that or you could damage the tissue.
Here are some of the foods we recommend during the first week of recovery:
Smoothies (Eat them with a spoon, NOT a straw.)
In general, avoid foods that are crunchy, spicy, or difficult to chew. The last thing you want is to accidentally bite the inside of your cheeks because you’re still numb from the procedure. Likewise, crunchy foods like chips can get stuck in the wound and interfere with your body’s natural ability to heal itself.
As the extraction site heals, you’ll be able to add more solid foods to your diet. But this should be done gradually so you don’t undo all the healing your body has already done. You should be able to fully return to your normal diet after a week or so.
Can I Go to Work After Tooth Extraction?
You won’t be able to return to work the same day that you have your tooth extraction. In fact, you should rest for the first 24 hours after your appointment with us.
Each patient is different so you’ll need to gauge for yourself if you feel well enough to return to work the next day. But it’s not uncommon for people to take 2 to 3 days off from work to recover from having a tooth extraction. Also, keep in mind that your recovery time may be longer if you have multiple teeth extracted at once.
How Do You Sleep After Tooth Extraction?
We don’t recommend sleeping flat on your back. Instead, sleep with your head elevated on a few pillows so the fluid has a chance to drain away from the extraction site. This will also help decrease the amount of swelling you experience while recovering from dental extraction.
When Can I Brush My Teeth Again?
Do NOT rinse or spit for 24 hours after dental extraction. For this reason, you should NOT use toothpaste when brushing your teeth. Instead, just wet your toothbrush with water and avoid the extraction site. You may also floss gently while avoiding the extraction site. That way, you don’t dislodge the blood clot that’s protecting the jawbone and nerves underneath.
Once 24 hours have passed, you’ll be able to use toothpaste again. But you should continue to avoid the extraction site for at least 2 to 3 days or until it’s healed enough that you won’t disturb the blood clot.
It’s important that you continue to remove bacteria from your teeth and gums so your body has the best chance to recover. This will also help you prevent infection and maintain good oral health throughout the healing process.
Learn More About Tooth Extraction
Whether you have an upcoming appointment or plan on caring for a loved one, we hope you found this guide helpful. As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office. We would be more than happy to help you on your journey toward better oral health and well-being.
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