What to expect after getting a tooth removed
11 October 2016
Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures a dentist carries out, so the recovery process is generally quick and easy – albeit a little uncomfortable.
The following advice is to guide you through the first 24 hours after the removal. If you need information for the day leading up to the extraction or want to know more about the process and you’re a patient at Redmires, give us a call to talk it through.
What precautions should I take?
The good news is you should try and chill out as much as possible, finally catch up on that Netflix binge you’ve not had time for! If you decide to rest, keep your head higher than usual by using an extra pillow.
Try to avoid hot food or drink until the anaesthetic has worn off. This is important, as you won’t be able to judge your normal pain threshold and could burn or chew your cheek.
How soon can I eat, smoke and drink?
Don’t worry about waiting to eat or drink, it’s good to keep your energy levels up but make sure whatever you choose is cold or lukewarm! It’s important not to damage the blood clot by eating on the affected side as this can lead to infection.
It’s really important not to do anything that will increase your blood pressure as this can lead to further bleeding. So that rules out smoking or drinking alcohol for as long as possible.
What about rinsing?
You must allow the socket to heal, so don’t rinse the area for the first 24 hours. Disturbing the area by rinsing, eating or with your tongue can allow infection into the socket and prolong recovery time.
When should I brush?
It’s even more important to keep your mouth clean after a tooth removal than normal. However, you should still be careful around the extraction site.
The area is bleeding – don’t panic
It’s very normal to experience slight bleeding for the first two days. It’s also important to remember a tiny amount of blood mixed with saliva makes it look much more dramatic than the reality!
If you do notice bleeding, don’t rinse but apply pressure to the socket with clean cotton material for 15 – 20 minutes.
Contact your dentist if the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 2 hours.
How can I reduce pain?
There will always be a little tenderness in the area for the first few days. In most cases some simple pain relief will ease discomfort. Check you aren’t taking anything with aspirin in as this can cause bleeding.
Once the first 24 hours is up you can rinse with a glass of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt if you want to. Do this twice a day to keep the area clean.
Stick to a healthy diet and take a vitamin C supplement to encourage faster healing.
Will I need to see my dentist soon after?
If the extraction was unusually difficult, the dentist should give you a follow up appointment. Otherwise, you’ll be fine waiting until your next routine check up.