Someone rightly said that ‘it’s all fun & games until a tooth gets knocked out”. Only those who have faced the ordeal of tooth extraction will identify with this sentiment. You will most likely feel soreness, discomfort, pain, and experience swelling in the face. To combat the unbearable pain, post the surgical process, you need a proper tooth extraction aftercare routine. Here are a few pointers to survive the ache trauma.
1. Take it easy after surgery
Your oral surgeon will recommend a lot of rest after tooth extraction. Once the anesthesia starts to wear off, you may not be able to do much for the rest of the day. Think of it as a god-gifted day off! While sleeping, rest your head in a slightly elevated position.
2. Keep your ice bags/ice packs handy
After tooth extraction, ice bags/packs are your best friend. Apply an ice pack on the side where the surgery has been done. This will be especially helpful on the day of the extraction. The swelling may not appear immediately but can continue for the next few days. Keep it on the swollen part for 15 minutes and then give a break and repeat the process.
3. Can you rinse your mouth within 24 hours?
Your mouth should be clean after surgery. Dentists recommend a ‘no rinse’ policy for the affected area for 24 hours. It is best to have a dry socket so that the wound is healed properly and not damage the blood clot. It is natural that your tongue will reach out to that sore area. It is best to refrain from eating on that side of the mouth to avoid infection which will affect healing.
4. Maintain your normal oral routine
Continue to brush and floss to take care of your oral health but avoid that tooth socket. After the first day, make a solution with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
Rinse your mouth gently with saline water after every meal. Those of you who had an impacted tooth surgery should rinse their mouth without fail after each meal and continue for the next 6 weeks. This process is recommended to avoid infection, but it should not be more than 4 times a day. Do not put extra pressure on your mouth with excessive rinsing.
5. Choose your foods after surgery
If you face toothache after extraction, include soft foods in your diet without compromising on nourishment. Hot foods and the use of straw are best avoided. It is best to stick to liquids and pureed food items for the first day. Avoid chewing and slowly drink your soup or porridge. You can gradually move towards solid food items after a few days.
6. Foods to be avoided
Your dentists most likely will give you pain relievers to alleviate the pain. You should never mix alcohol with painkillers. Also, alcohol delays healing and you can experience bleeding if you consume alcohol just after the surgery. Another habit which can be really damaging is smoking. Nuts, sunflower seeds, rice, and popcorn may get lodged inside the socket.
7. Consult a doctor if it continues to bleed
You may experience slight bleeding for the first 2-3 days after surgery along with tooth pain. If you experience bleeding, apply pressure on the affected socket. Just bite into a clean folded cotton like a hanky for 15 minutes. You may have to replace the cotton if it is blood-soaked. If the bleeding does not stop within an hour, fix an appointment with your dentist.
8. What kind of medicines will you take?
As tooth extraction involves surgery, you will probably experience soreness or discomfort. Swelling is also normal for a few days after the procedure. Apply ice on the swollen spot for the first day. But doctors will prescribe some painkillers and OTC medicines which will reduce the post-operation symptoms.
A word of caution to avoid extracted tooth pain & better recovery
- Forget about sucking, rinsing or putting your fingers in your mouth for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction.
- Do not think about rigorous activities for the first 24 hours after surgery
- It’s best to avoid aspirin if the doctor has not prescribed it because the medicine might cause more bleeding.
- If blood clot is dislodged resulting in the dry socket and exposed bone, it can cause discomfort. Take medicines in times of unbearable pain
- You can put a wet tea bag on the swollen spot. Tannic acids help in clotting of the blood
Do not be afraid of tooth extraction. You may want to ask your questions before the surgical procedure. Consult our dental professionals at DM Dental. You can either schedule an appointment or contact our offices near Airport and Urbandale.