How to Care for Yourself After a Tooth Extraction

Dentists typically view an extraction as the last possible treatment for a tooth. These medical professionals will do whatever it takes to preserve your teeth and keep your smile looking great. If you have some type of trauma that breaks off more than 50% of your tooth, you suffer from a severe oral disease or you have a large cavity that ate through the tooth, the dentist may recommend removing that damaged or diseased tooth. After you leave the office and go home, there are a few things you can do to care for your mouth.

How to Care for Yourself After a Tooth ExtractionImage from

Recover from Pain

The dentist will either pull the tooth right out of your mouth or break the tooth into fragments first, but the doctor will always give you some type of substance that numbs your mouth. This numbness will last for a few hours or longer. Once the numbness wears off though, you’ll likely deal with some pain. Take the prescription medication that your doctor gave you to deal with that pain and try placing an ice pack on the outside of your mouth. The dentist may also give you a prescription for an antibiotic too.

Reduce Bleeding

While you may bleed quite a bit in the hour after your appointment, the bleeding should slowly stop. The dentist will place a gauze pad inside your mouth that you’ll need to keep in place for a few hours. Check that pad every hour and replace with a new pad to soak up the blood your mouth produces. Limit your mobility and reduce the number of activities that you do the day of your extraction. Physical activities can increase your bleeding. If you keep bleeding all day or the following day, call the office and speak with your dentist.

Reduce Risk of Dry Socket

Dry socket is one of the most painful things you can go through after a tooth extraction. This occurs when a blood clot forms on or near the location of the extraction and then comes loose. It can lead to stoke or even worse problems. Drinking from an ordinary glass or cup instead of using a straw and avoiding cigarettes can help you reduce your risk of developing dry socket. Work with your dentist to restore your smile and reduce your risk of needing an extraction. Click here to see some of the restoration treatments that dentists provide to patients.

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