Aftercare following tooth extraction
After tooth extraction, it is exceptionally important that the area heal smoothly and quickly. Usually, dentists have an already prepared printed document which is furnished to the patient after tooth extraction surgery. This document includes all the points which involve the aftercare of tooth extraction. The patient should follow the instructions given by the dental surgeon so the wound heals swiftly without creating any complications.
The important points which should be noted after tooth extraction surgery are the following:
- Rest is very crucial. After a tooth extraction surgery, the patient should take adequate rest and should not start working or exercising right away, no matter how energetic and great the patient feels. At least one day of rest is vital for the patient. While resting, the patient should also ensure the head is raised on a pillow.
- When a tooth is extracted a blood clot forms naturally on the opening in the area of the missing tooth. This clot should be allowed to be formed. It is completely normal and in fact, it is necessary because this clot protects the inner portion of the gums against bacteria and infections. In the absence of this clot, the inner part of the gums remain open and stay vulnerable to infection by bacteria in the oral cavity. The dentist will put a gauze piece on the area to stop the bleeding process and let the clot be formed. The patient has to keep the gauze piece attached by gently biting it for at least an hour or so.
- Spitting can also dislodge the clot formed in the missing tooth area. Do not spit for at least 24 hours after the tooth extraction surgery. If the clot is dislodged, then a dry socket can form, which is a very painful condition.
- A person shouldn’t be smoking for at least 48 hours after surgery. Smoking is extremely injurious to the oral cavity and after the tooth extraction surgery; it can cause the clot not forming.
- Care should be taken in not consuming solid food items until the numbness wears off. For some time, the patient will not be able to feel anything in the jaw. The patient can start eating solid food items after feeling returns to normal. For sometime after when eating solid foods, choose soft foods. Hard vegetables or food items which need to be sucked, sipped, etc should be avoided. Soft food items such as mashed potatoes, soup, yogourt, milkshakes, etc are required.
- Medicines are really important. Do not take medicines for granted. These have the potential to heal the wound very quickly and uncomplicatedly. Always take the medicine on time, as prescribed by the dental surgeon.
- Do not take medicine on an empty stomach. This could cause nausea.
- Immediately after the extraction of the tooth, for approximately six hours, an ice pack could be used to decrease the pain and swelling.
- 24 hours after tooth extraction surgery, the patient should rinse the mouth gently with a warm salt water solution. This should be done at least 2-3 times every day for a week.
- At least eight glasses of water or juices should be consumed by the patient every day.
- Continue brushing and flossing the other teeth in the mouth as normal.
By following the above instructions, the wound will heal very swiftly and chances of the occurrence of any complications decrease significantly.
Also read – Extractions – simple