Here at the Dental Specialty Associates, we understand it is no fun having to get a tooth extracted. It can be a stressful dental procedure to plan and the pain that results can be a little frustrating. When you leave your dental appointment, the dentist will give you follow-up instructions for healing and pain relief. Even still, many patients get worried about the pain and discomfort they feel. Below are some common questions and information to help you deal with the mouth pain from an extracted tooth and get on the road to healing.
What Should I Do After The Extraction Appointment?
Like stated above, it is important to follow any aftercare instructions your dentist gives you once you have a tooth extracted. It is important to take it easy and not exert yourself in the days following. Be sure to rest and let your body have the energy needed to heal. Keep your head up so you avoid any excess bleeding.
What Precautions Should Be Taken?
Until the anesthetic wears off, it is important to avoid any hot drinks or foods because you will not be able to feel the pain properly in your mouth. This could lead to scalding your wound. You should also be careful not to chew your cheek. This is a common problem that happens before the anesthetic wears off. At night, keep your head propped up more than usual and place a towel over your pillow to protect it if your mouth bleeds a little.
What Should I Avoid?
It is important to avoid drinking alcohol for the first 24 to 48 hours after extraction because it can delay the healing process and encourage bleeding. You can eat and drink food as normal as long as you avoid chewing where your extraction wound is. When brushing your teeth, be sure not to brush on the extraction site as it may delay healing.
How To Deal With Mouth Pain?
It is normal for there to be tenderness and a small amount of pain in the area of the extraction for at least a few days. If you find yourself dealing with too much discomfort and cannot handle it, take some over-the-counter pain relief medicine such as acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Do not take any aspirin because it could make your mouth bleed more. Some dentists suggest taking both acetaminophen and ibuprofen together for ultimate pain relief.
I Still Have Pain After Taking Pain Relievers. What Should I Do?
If the pain doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain medication and it is causing you too much discomfort, you may have what is called a dry socket. This is a painful infection that can happen in the socket where your tooth was extracted. It is caused when there is little to no blood clotting in the tooth socket leaving the bony wall exposed and prone to infection. In some cases, the pain will be worse than the original toothache that led to the extraction in the first place.
Should I See My Dentist If The Pain Is Bad?
Yes. If the pain is disrupting your daily activities, you may have a case of dry socket and need to see your dentist. They will check the area around the extracted tooth and place dressing over the socket. They may also prescribe you a prescription for antibiotics to help relieve the infected socket and promote healing. For some people, they may feel a sharp edge around the socket with their tongue. It’s perfectly normal that some people have small pieces of bone fragments working their way to the surface from deep inside the socket.
Can I Do Anything To Help My Mouth Heal Faster?
Every patient heals at different speeds after an extracted tooth procedure. The most important thing after a tooth extraction is keeping the site as clean as possible. Do not rinse for the first 24 hours and keep the area clean of food and other debris. Your dentist will also suggest using a saltwater mouth rinse. This can help with inflammation and healing the socket. Fill a cup with eight ounces of warm water and add a teaspoon of salt, preferably sea salt. Mix it together well and then rinse the socket twice a day to promote healing. Do this twice a day for at least one week.
A healthy diet after the procedure can also promote healing. To help your mouth heal quicker, take a vitamin C supplement or a multivitamin that contains the daily amount of vitamin C required.
Will I Need To See My Dentist Again?
Your dentist will most likely have you come back for a follow-up appointment to check the extraction site and make sure it’s healing properly. They may also need to remove stitches if they were required during the extraction.
If at any time you have pain or questions, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup. Don’t delay and call today!