What to Do after a Tooth Extraction?

November 1, 2019

During adulthood, it becomes necessary to have a tooth extracted on some occasions. Permanent teeth are generally expected to last for a lifetime but there are many reasons why a tooth needs to be pulled. A common reason observed among many people involves a tooth that is badly damaged from decay and trauma leaving it difficult to be repaired. At times dentists decide to extract teeth for preparing the mouth for orthodontia for properly aligning with teeth which may be difficult if the teeth are too big for your mouth. Similarly, if the tooth is unable to erupt through the gum because of insufficient room in the mouth the dentist may recommend pulling the teeth.

What Are the Reasons That Make Tooth Extraction a Necessity?

Infections are a major cause that makes tooth extraction necessary. When tooth decay or any damage extends to the pulp which is the center holding the nerves and blood vessels an infection can occur because the bacteria in the mouth enters the pulp. Even though this can be rectified with a root canal treatment extraction may still be the only option available if the infection is severe and the problem cannot be rectified either by the root canal therapy or antibiotics.

An extraction may also become inevitable if the immune system is compromised especially among patients that are receiving chemotherapy or having an organ transplant. In such cases, even the risk of infection in a specific tooth can be a reason for the extraction.

Periodontal disease is another problem that can make tooth extraction necessary. The periodontal disease infects the bones and tissues that surround and support the teeth to cause loosening of the teeth making it necessary for the dentist to conduct an extraction.

What to Expect When Extracting Your Teeth?

If you have already researched for a dentist that can offer tooth extraction near me and made proper inquiries you will have information that the procedure will be conducted by dentists or oral surgeons. You will be administered local anesthesia before the tooth is extracted. Dentists may also decide to use general anesthesia in certain cases to prevent pain throughout your body and to make you sleep during the procedure.

If you have an impacted tooth the dentist conducting tooth extraction in Gilbert AZ will cut away some bone and gum tissue covering the tooth and use forceps to grasp it and gently rocket back-and-forth to loosen it from the jawbone holding it in place. Sometimes a difficult to pull tooth may be removed in pieces.

A blood clot will form in the socket after the tooth has been extracted. The dentist will provide you with a gauze pad to pack in the socket and bite down on it until the bleeding stops. You may even receive some sutures over the extraction site to close the gum edges. The blood clot in the socket can break lose at times exposing the bone. This is known as a dry socket and is a painful condition. In such cases, the dentist will place a narcotic dressing over the opening to protect it for some days until new clot forms in the area.

Information You Should Provide Your Dentist before Having Teeth Extracted

Having teeth extracted is a safe procedure but has the potential to allow harmful bacteria to enter into your bloodstream. Your gum tissue is also exposed to the risks of an infection. Therefore, before having a tooth extracted you should let your dentist have your complete medical history along with any supplements or medications you are having and are suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Impaired immune system.
  • Liver disease.
  • Congenital heart defect.
  • Artificial joints such as hip replacements.
  • History of bacterial endocarditis.
  • You have damaged or man-made heart valves.

What Care Will You Be Required to Take after Extracting a Tooth?

Your dentist will allow you to proceed home after the extraction is completed. The recovery will normally require a few days and the dentist will provide you tooth extraction aftercare that you are recommended to follow. The recommendations will help to reduce distress, the risk of infections and hasten recovery. You will be provided with some painkillers which you should be ingesting as prescribed. Apart from the above, it is recommended that you bear in mind the following.

  • Bite gently but firmly on the gauze pad put in place by your dentist to reduce bleeding and to allow a clot to form in the socket of the tooth. Change the pads before they are soaked with blood else leave it in place for about 3 to 4 hours after the procedure.
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area immediately following the procedure to keep the swelling down. The ice pack should remain in place for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take some time to relax for at least 24 hours after having the tooth removed. Limit your activities for the next couple of days.
  • Do not smoke or indulge in any habits that can prevent healing and make it a point to have soft foods like soups, yogurt, puddings, or applesauce the day after the tooth has been extracted. You can add solid foods to your diet gradually as the site of the extraction heals.
  • You should be attempting to prevent any bleeding even when you are sleeping and therefore your suggested to prop your head with pillows. Lying down flat may aggravate your condition.

You can, however, continue to brush and floss your teeth and also brush your tongue only avoiding the extraction site for preventing any infections.

Do You Need to Call the Dentist?

Feeling some pain after the anesthesia has worn off is quite normal and you can expect some inflammation and continuing bleeding for at least 24 hours after having the tooth extracted. However, if the severity of the bleeding or the pain continues even after four hours of the extraction you should be calling your dentist for advice about what you can do. You must also be prepared with information about any signs of infection you are facing, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain and any other problems you could be encountering.

The initial healing period is generally about one or two weeks as new bone and the gum tissue will begin to grow in the gap. You may have to deal with the problem of the remaining teeth trying to shift into the gap created by the tooth extracted. This will affect your bite making it difficult for you to chew. To overcome this problem your dentist may recommend replacing the extracted tooth or teeth with a denture, implant, or a fixed bridge.