Tips For Speeding Recovery after Undergoing a Tooth Extraction
When a tooth extraction interrupts your life, of course you want to heal as quickly as possible. At Alegria Dental Care, we want you to know how to speed up the recovery process so you can get back to your normal life.
Dr. Sunnes recommends following these six tips to shorten the recovery time after undergoing a tooth extraction.
1. Take it easy for at least two days
Plan to take at least two days off from work. You should spend the first day relaxing as much as possible. Stay in bed if you can, but prop your head up to prevent excessive bleeding.
During the second 24 hours, limit your activity as much as possible.
Your extraction site needs time to heal, so give it the opportunity it deserves.
2. Keep the gauze in place over your extraction site
After getting your tooth extracted, Dr. Sunnes typically puts a piece of gauze over the extraction site. The gauze helps minimize bleeding so a clot can form.
You should only touch the gauze when it’s soaked with blood and you need to replace it. Otherwise, you should leave the gauze alone to help a clot form.
3. Use ice packs and take ibuprofen to reduce swelling
If your face swells after your tooth extraction, you can use an ice pack to relieve the pain. Apply an ice pack for about 10 minutes at a time. You can also take ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain. You should not, however, take aspirin.
4. Stick to soft foods for a few days
During the first couple of days after your surgery, you should limit your food choices to liquids like water, soups, and shakes. Eating food that requires chewing could disturb the extraction site or knock the blood clot loose.
Once your mouth starts to recover, you can eat soft foods like mashed potatoes and pudding. Don’t try to eat solid foods, though, until your extraction site has healed.
5. Don’t suck on anything (especially cigarettes)
Sucking on a straw, candy, or anything else can dislodge your blood clot. If the blood clot comes loose, it could add a day or more to your recovery time.
Most importantly, don’t smoke cigarettes or use e-cigs. The smoke can slow healing and increase your risk of dry socket, an infection that can cause considerable pain for up to a week — even with treatment.
6. Take all of your antibiotics
If Dr. Sunnes prescribes antibiotics after your tooth extraction, follow her instructions and take all of the medications. You may feel completely healed before you’ve finished the supply, but finish up the medication unless she advises you differently.
Not taking all of your antibiotics could put you at risk of a painful and difficult-to-treat infection, adding time and misery to your recovery.
Make an appointment at Alegria Dental Care if you experience problems
Following these tips add to your chances of the speediest recovery possible after your tooth extraction. But if you feel like you’re not healing according to schedule, come back to Algeria Dental Care so Dr. Sunnes can look at your progress. She may be able to clean the extraction site to promote healing or give you a prescription medication that dulls the pain.
Contact Dr. Sunnes by sending us a message on our secure website. You can also call our office in Houston at 281-393-0881. We’ll find a convenient time for you to come in and get your extraction site looked at.