How to recover well after a tooth extraction

Annually, millions of Americans will undergo tooth extractions. The reasons for a tooth extraction vary from person to person. One possible reason is wisdom teeth that are growing in a problematic manner. Other reasons could be damage related to dental traumas or teeth that have become too decayed to preserve with a root canal or dental crown. Although tooth extractions have become a routine dental procedure in America, it is still important to take good care of your mouth following a removal surgery to ensure good outcomes. Below are six tips that help promote a speedy recovery.


Being prepared prior to having an extraction will give you a better foundation for having a good recovery. Although it is advisable to avoid cigarettes and tobacco products in general, this is especially important in the days immediately prior to your extraction. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided in the days leading to your procedure. In some cases, it may be necessary to temporarily stop taking some medications prior to your procedure. This includes prescription medicine, over the counter medicine as well as vitamins and minerals. It’s important to let your doctor know about any medicines you are taking so they can advise you whether or not you will need to stop them temporarily.


Your body does most of its repair at the cellular level while you asleep. Hence, it is important to get adequate sleep to heal from your extraction. Also, you will likely be sedated during your procedure. The sedation may stay in your body for many hours afterward and cause you to feel sleepy. For this reason, your surgeon will require that someone is available to accompany you home following your procedure.


In the immediate period following your procedure, your surgeon prescribes strong pain medication to keep you comfortable. After the initial period, it is generally possible to manage your pain through use of non-prescription medicines or use of ice packs. Should your pain get worse, you should reach out to your surgeon’s office immediately.


Twenty-four hours following your extraction, you should not brush, floss or rinse your mouth. After eating, it is necessary to get rid of any food debris that gets stuck in your mouth and in your empty sockets. You may rinse your mouth carefully with a saltwater solution after eating but avoiding excessing rinsing as this can cause the clots to in your sockets to become dislodged and lead to a painful complication called dry socket. Generally, you can return to brushing and flossing shortly after surgery, ensuring to avoid the extraction sites


To help your gums heal, you will need to stick to a diet of soft and cool foods. Crunchy and hard foods may get stuck in your gums, while hot food may irritate your gums. Following surgery, good options to include in your diet are smoothies, applesauce, mashed potatoes and warm soups.


Above, are general guidelines to follow for a successful recovery. However, your surgeon knows you personally and is the best person to provide customized aftercare instructions for you. They also have the experience needed to give detailed instructions. Here at Pinole Oral Surgery, we have a team of experts that is ready to get to know you and give you the best care and advice for your dental health!