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Extraction Aftercare: Tips from an Oral Surgeon

Posted on 5/9/2022 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
Extraction Aftercare: Tips from an Oral SurgeonDental professionals will try as much as possible to save your tooth because having your natural teeth is the best thing you need. Sometimes, however, you may need extractions, especially if the teeth cannot be saved or they are impacted or you need to create room for orthodontic treatment. When you have the teeth extracted, it is crucial you ensure proper care of the site.

Managing Bleeding and Swelling

You may want to keep the gauze on the site of extraction for about three or four hours after the extraction. Applying ice can also help reduce swelling, but make sure you apply the ice for only about 10 to 15 minutes a time to prevent tissue damage, also known as ice burns.

Get Enough Rest

You will feel a little drained after the tooth extraction, so you want to rest as the wound heals. Try to listen to your body so that you don't overwhelm it. You can have an entire day of relaxing and limit your activity for a week. When sleeping, ensure you prop the head up using a pillow since lying flat may prolong healing.

Maintain your Oral Hygiene

You need to brush and floss even after a tooth extraction, but avoid touching the extraction site. You will only be able to brush the site after you have adequately healed. Use warm saltwater to rinse your mouth after the initial 24 hours as it helps fight bacteria and improve the healing process.

Take Painkillers

An oral surgeon will prescribe painkillers that you need to take to relieve an after-extraction pain and discomfort. If you don't have a prescription, OTC medications can work too.

Protect the Site's Blood Clot

After tooth removal, a blood clot forms on the area where the tooth once was and its job is to protect the tissues beneath. You need to protect that clot. If you accidentally push it off or dislodge it, you may suffer a complication referred to as a dry socket. This complication is painful and can cause more discomfort.

During the first 24 hours following the extraction, avoid chewing or smoking tobacco. Avoid the use of a straw and do not rinse or even spit. You also want to stick to soft foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, and applesauce, or some soup. If you need a tooth extraction, get in touch with our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team.

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At Optimum Oral Surgery Group, Dr. Donald G. Rebhun has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Read the dental blog posts here.
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