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    101 E. St. Charles Road, Suite 101. Villa Park 60181

After Tooth Extractions

A tooth extraction might be recommended by your dentist for various reasons. There are patients who one or more decayed tooth; others require the removal of teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas, lots of patients require wisdom teeth extraction. While a tooth extraction procedure can be quite serious after care is also a critical component of the procedure. It is important for the dental patient to understand that they can reduce the risk of infection and pain with proper care.

Care immediately following surgery:

  • Maintain pressure on the gauze placed over the surgical area by your dentist by gently biting down. If you notice that the gauze starts drying out, simply dampen it. Keep the pressure on for 45-60 minutes interval, and repeat as often as required, or until the bleeding reduces.
  • Try keeping your head raised while lowering your activity level as much as you can.
  • 48 hours after surgery, use warm salt water to rinse the mouth. Stay away from any alcohol-based mouthwash to avoid irritating the wound.
  • Clean your mouth by brushing areas close to the surgical site, but make sure you avoid sutures. Also, try not to touch the wounded area.
  • Control inflammation by placing ice packs on facial areas close to extraction.
  • Take all medications as prescribed, and contact the practice or go to the emergency room immediately if you experience any swelling or itching.
  • Focus on eating soft foods that are rich in protein.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated, but avoid drinking through a straw for the next 5-7 days.
  • Abstain from smoking for the 3-4 days because smoking increases the risk of getting an infection as well as a dry socket.

After the extraction of your tooth, healing will take a while. Your sutures should dissolve or fall out within 3 to 14 days. For non-reabsorbable sutures, the stitches will be removed by your doctor at a later appointment. The empty socket of your tooth will be filled with bones over time and blend with adjacent tissues.

Possible complications after a tooth extraction

Bleeding – it’s totally normal to experience some bleeding after a tooth extraction. A subtle oozing, as well as tinted saliva, are a common occurrence within the first 36 hours. If bleeding persists, try controlling it by using dampened gauze pads and biting down to exert pressure on the area. Another option is to make use of a moistened tea bag instead of gauze pads, as the tannic acids aid the contraction of. Exert some pressure on the tea bag or gauze by gently biting down for half an hour. Please note that exercise, sitting upright, and raised tempers all increase the flow of blood to the head, which can result in excessive bleeding. Try avoiding this as much s you can. Please call our practice if there is no improvement in your bleeding after 48 hours.

Bone sequestra (dead tooth fragments) – There are patients who have some sharp tooth fragments that could not be totally removed during surgery. These dead bone fragments, in a natural healing process, work themselves slowly through the gum. This can be painful if the fragments are not removed so get in touch with our practice if you feel there are some sharp fragments poking through surgery area.

Dry socket – a few days after your extraction, there should be an improvement in the pain. Patients rarely complain of unbearable pain that spreads towards the ear. This is often a case of dry socket. Dry socket occurs as a result of the blood clot getting irritated and removed before the completion of healing. The socket can be blocked by debris and food causing irritation. Women who are on contraceptives and tobacco users have a higher risk of developing dry socket. Though dry socket isn’t an infection, it still requires that you visit our office. If you are seeing symptoms of dry socket, please get in touch with our practice immediately.

Lightheadedness – your blood sugar levels may have dropped below the optimum level since you may have been abstaining from food before surgery. Until your body has actually taken the time to process some sugars, always get up slowly when you are trying to stand up from a relaxed position. For somewhat immediate relief, try staying in a relaxed position, eating something sugary and soft, as well as reducing the elevation of your head.

Numbness – lots of patients have reported feeling numb even several hours after completing their extraction.  It is normal to experience an extended lack of feeling around the mouth after surgery, and this can last up to 12 hours.

Swelling – swelling should reduce almost completely within ten days. Try applying an ice pack to the facial area close to the extraction immediately after the extraction procedure.  Continue to apply the ice packs at intervals of 15 minutes for the first 36 hours. After 36 hours, moist heat should be used to reduce swelling, as ice will no longer be effective. To reduce swelling, you can apply a warm moist cloth to your face.

Trismus (difficulty opening and closing mouth) – Sometimes, a patient can experience difficulty in swallowing or chewing as well as a sore jaw, and this can last 3-5 days after surgery. The soreness can also make hard to close or open the mouth. Soreness should reduce eventually.

Do you have any concerns or experiencing complication not discussed here, get in touch with our practice immediately.

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