You have wisdom teeth coming in, and they’re impacted, which means you’ll need to have them removed. Maybe you feel a little anxious about it. After all, it is a surgical procedure! What will recovery be like? What can you do to make it go as smoothly as possible? Get answers to these questions and more from your emergency dentist in Richardson.
Why Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction can happen for several reasons: impacted wisdom teeth, extensive tooth decay, overcrowding, or even a dental emergency. Whether planned or not, tooth extraction is a common oral surgical procedure that a qualified emergency dentist in Richardson is equipped to handle.
How the Mouth Heals
When you have a tooth extracted, the body heals itself by forming a blood clot at the site, protecting the exposed bone and nerves. It is important that the blood clot stays there, so no food particles can contaminate the vulnerable wound. If the blood clot does become displaced, it lengthens your recovery time and leads to dry socket, an infection that causes radiating pain from your mouth and throughout your face. Following these tips is your best chance of avoiding dry socket and having a quick recovery.
What to Do
Follow your dentist’s instructions for post-extraction care. They will be able to provide advice specifically for you and your situation. However, there are several things you can do on your own to facilitate your healing.
- Use a cold compress or ice pack in 20-minute increments to keep the swelling down.
- Plan to rest following your tooth extraction for at least one day, and avoid strenuous activities for a few days, especially contact sports. Ease back into your regular activities and be aware that some fatigue and soreness is possible.
- Drink lots of water. It can help flush out any food particles and keep the extraction site clean.
- Eat liquids for the first day and soft foods for the next few days after extraction. Some of these foods include the following:
- Soup or broth.
- Ice cream.
- Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning the extraction site to allow the clot to form. However, you can gently brush your other teeth. You can gently rinse your mouth with water to clean the site for the first day.
- Let your dentist know if you experience abnormal symptoms. For the first couple of days after extraction, you will likely have some swelling and pain, which typically can be managed with pain medication, either prescribed or over the counter. If you have severe pain, swelling, redness, and fever, contact your dentist right away.
What Not to Do
There are certain things you should avoid doing so that you heal properly.
- Don’t use a straw for about a week. The suction can dislodge the blood clot.
- Don’t drink sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages. They can irritate the extraction site.
- Don’t eat crunchy, spicy, chewy, or sticky foods for the first few days after extraction.
- Don’t use tobacco products within 48 hours of surgery. They can introduce bacteria and disturb the blood clot.
If you follow these tips, your tooth extraction and post-procedure healing should go smoothly and without incident. Soon you’ll be back to your normal activities with a healthy mouth again. For more information about tooth extraction or more detailed advice for aftercare, you can contact your dentist in Richardson.
About the Author
At Dental Care Today of Richardson, Dr. David Nguyen provides a truly comprehensive array of dental services including tooth-colored fillings, crowns and bridges, veneers, dentures, implants, sinus lift in conjunction with implant placement, gum and bone grafting, gum disease treatment and surgery, tooth extraction and wisdom teeth removal, root canal treatment and retreatment, and invisible braces (Invisalign). You can contact him by calling (214) 377-8881 or clicking here.