Severe cases of tooth decay, extensive tooth damage or an impacted wisdom tooth might require you to have a tooth extraction done. While having teeth removed is a common and safe dental procedure, it’s important to care for it afterwards for proper healing. Aftercare also helps lower the risk of infections or other problems occurring. Our Belleville dentist offers the following helpful tips on tooth extraction aftercare.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication if Needed
You might have some mild pain after having a tooth removed, which is common. This pain shouldn’t last for more than a few days. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease this discomfort if needed. Keep in mind that you should call our dentist if pain becomes worse or if it lasts longer than a few days.
Avoid Touching the Area
After you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot forms in the socket. This blood clot is a normal part of the healing process, so it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally dislodge it. You should avoid touching the area with your finger or poking at it with your tongue. You should also avoid biting down on crunchy, chewy or hard foods in this area, since this could also dislodge the blood clot. If this happens, you can place clean gauze on the area until the bleeding stops.
Brush and Floss
Continuing to take good care of your teeth is important to help the affected area heal. Brushing and flossing helps get rid of bacteria that could raise your risk of infection until the tooth extraction area fully heals. Make sure you brush and floss as you normally would, but touching the affected area with your toothbrush or floss.
Rinse with Saltwater
Saltwater helps keep the treated area clean, which lowers the risk of infection during the healing process. You can add a touch of salt to warm water to rinse your mouth the first few days after a tooth extraction. Avoid using hot water, and make sure you gently rinse to avoid accidentally dislodging the blood clot in the socket.
If you’re a smoker, you should avoid smoking while your mouth heals. Smoking makes it harder for blood to reach the affected area, which can lead to a much slower healing process. This also raises your risk of an infection. You should avoid smoking for a minimum of 24 hours after you have a tooth extraction done.
Watch for Signs of Infection
Although tooth extractions are generally safe, you should be aware of the signs that you might have an infection. These include swelling, severe pain, redness and pus in the affected area. You might also have a fever when you have an infection. You should call our dentist right away if you notice any signs of an infection after having a tooth removed.
Contact Our Office Today
If you’re having a problem with your teeth or gums, please contact You Make Me Smile Dental Centre for an appointment. Our Belleville dentists provide high-quality, compassionate dental care to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.