Tooth Extraction Recovery

Tooth extraction can sound like a scary process, but it is a routine procedure. While you may experience some discomfort during recovery, you should never feel any excruciating pain. However, if you do, you should alert your dentist as soon as possible. In fact, tooth extraction should relieve more pain than it causes. 

There are several reasons why a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. Extreme damage or tooth decay may create a need for a tooth removal. Additionally, your dentist may need to remove your third molars (wisdom teeth). Many people don’t have enough room in their mouths to hold their wisdom teeth, meaning they need extraction. Sometimes, you may have an infection that creates a need for a tooth extraction. 

Regardless of the reason for your tooth extraction, you do not need to worry. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure because you will be under sedation. Depending on the type of extraction, you will either be under conscious oral sedation or intravenous (IV) sedation. Additionally, you won’t feel any severe pain following your procedure. 

Here are some helpful tips to keep your recovery as comfortable as possible. 

Gloved hand holding forceps with extracted tooth dentist in Baltimore Maryland

Take Prescribed Medication

Your dentist will likely prescribe you medication to aid your recovery. Since there are a lot of bacteria in your mouth, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics. This will help to avoid developing infection post-surgery. You must take all of your antibiotics as recommended. 

Additionally, your dentist may prescribe pain medication to minimize any pain you experience after your extraction. However, you can also take several over-the-counter medications as directed. For example, anti-inflammatory medicine, like Tylenol or Advil, can help reduce pain and swelling. 

Take It Easy

You should avoid any strenuous activity in the first few days following your extraction. This means you shouldn’t perform any activity that elevates your heart rate. For example, you should avoid going to the gym or taking a run for a few days. You should be able to quickly return to school or work if you aren’t in severe pain. 

The extraction site will take several weeks to months to heal completely. However, you can get back to your regular routine much faster. 

Ice, Ice, Ice

Another way that you can help reduce your discomfort is to ice your jaw. You can reduce the pain and swelling from your surgery by using ice. In fact, ice can help speed your recovery process. 

Watch What You Eat

You should avoid eating anything sharp or too hard following your surgery. For example, chips may break off and lodge into your healing wound. Not only will this be painful, but it can increase your chances of infection. Also, you shouldn’t eat anything too hot so that you don’t damage the extraction site. Soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or soup, may be easier for you to eat. 

Avoid drinking from a straw for several days following your extraction. You can develop a condition known as dry socket. This is where the blood clot from your extraction becomes dislodged, causing extreme pain.

Author: Dr. Desbordes