Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Before During & AfterJune 22, 2017
How to Brush your Teeth CorrectlyAugust 11, 2017
We drill into the aftercare when it comes to the extraction of teeth. This can end up being be a painful exercise however the following guide will allow for smooth and speedy recovery after a tooth extraction Once your tooth/teeth have been removed, the first 24 hours after surgery is crucial. However, the overall healing process may take up to 8 months:
- 1-2 weeks — Significant healing and repair will be seen. The area where the tooth was removed should look and feel much improved with sockets beginning to close up.
- 3-4 weeks — Between weeks three and four you may still be able to see an indentation in the jawbone where the tooth’s original socket lies. Bone tissue formation will have begun but this new tissue may be delicate, especially when chewing some hard foods.
- 24 weeks — Although most healing should have occurred at this stage, by the end of month 8 new bone tissue should have almost completely formed to fill in the pulled tooth’s empty socket.
By following this simple guide, it will paves the way for a more effective and faster healing process:
- Take any medication your dentist recommends for pain relief but remember to stick to the correct dosage.
- Leave the gauze pad which has been placed over the extraction site for the recommended length of time set by the dentist after the procedure. If the gauze has to be changed due to bleeding, put on a new gauze but be careful not to remove the blood clot. The function of this gauze is to help control bleeding, promoting the development of a blood clot in the extraction site.
- Apply an ice pack or cold towel to the side of your face to prevent swelling. Leave it on for about 10-20 minutes and repeat if necessary.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water 24 hours after the procedure. Rinsing with salt water helps prevent infection and removes food particles from the extraction site. Simply, add 1 tablespoon of salt to 8oz of warm water.
- Eat only soft foods such as pudding, yogurt & mashed potatoes for the first 24-48 hours. When eating try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth, away from the extraction point. Also remember to drink plenty of water.
- Book a follow-up appointment a week after the procedure. This is particularly important if sutures need to be removed but also to check-in on the healing process.
- Many people tend to stay away from aspirin after having a tooth removed as it can lead to bleeding. It is often recommended to not take aspirin after the first 24 hours. However, this is up to you and depends on whether any bleeding occurs after intake.
- It is important to not disturb the wound after treatment, especially if there are sutures in place. Causing disturbance may lead to irritation & bleeding, or worse, infection. When changing gauze, do so carefully. Any pressure on the wound (e.g. blowing balloons, blowing nose, spitting, sucking a straw, etc) may dislodge the blood clot. If the clot is interfered with in any way it may lead to increased bleeding.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Smoke can interrupt the healing process and encourage bleeding. More so, smoking may lead to what is known as “dry socket”, a very painful inflammation. Even though you may smoke after 24 hours, smoking can still slow healing and interfere with bone growth surrounding the tooth socket.
- Although it is important to keep the area clean to prevent infection, it is recommended to not brush the affected area after the procedure. This may dislodge the blood clot. The use of toothpaste may also cause the blood clot to become dislodged due to rinsing. After 3-4 days, normal brushing and flossing can be carried out but in a gentle manner.
- Mouthwash should not be used for 24 hours after. Once again, this ensures the blood clot is not disturbed and will form properly.
- Don’t eat any foods that may irritate the affected area for 3-4 days. These foods include acidic & carbonated foods but also hot drinks. It is also important to not eat immediately after having your tooth extracted until the numbness has weared off.
- Alcohol is prohibited until 24 hours after the procedure. Alcohol can interfere with medication provided by your dentist and increase the risk of infection.
- Don’t do any strenuous activity as it can lead to increased bleeding and disruption of the blood clot. This includes heavy lifting and bending over.
Finally, keep in mind that it is important to call your dentist immediately if any unusual occurrences are noticed. Catching problems soon, rather than later, ensures the prevention of serious infection.