What You Should Know about Tooth Extraction Recovery
Hearing that you need a tooth removed is never fun. However, knowing what to expect during and after your treatment can help you enjoy a relatively comfortable and successful recovery. Patients should be knowledgeable about special care instructions following tooth extraction or any oral surgery procedure. To prepare our patients for their tooth extraction recovery, our team at Periodontal Associates, LLC in Englewood, NJ educates patients on the essential aspects of the process and outlines necessary measures to ensure their safety and proper healing.
24 Hours after Tooth Extraction
Immediately following your tooth extraction, your oral surgeon will place a piece of gauze over the surgical site. This should be left in place for approximately 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, you may place another gauze pad over the site and bite down with steady pressure for another 15 minutes. If bleeding still persists, moisten a tea bag, and gently close down on it for an additional 15 minutes. (Tea contains an ingredient called tannic acid, which shrinks blood vessels and capillaries, and effectively slows bleeding.) Any swelling can be addressed with the use of a cold compress, which can be applied to the external jaw in 20-minute increments. To manage discomfort, anti-inflammatory medications can be taken.
During the next several weeks, your body will begin to regenerate the bone that was lost during the extraction.
A blood clot will form in the socket where the tooth was extracted. Do not disrupt this blood clot, as it protects the area during the healing phase. During this time, it is important to abstain from strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, as these activities can cause the heart rate to go up, therefore increasing the chance for bleeding and discomfort. Most patients find they can comfortably return to normal activity on the third day.
For the first couple of days, it is best to consume only soft, nutritious foods. As you become more comfortable chewing, you can introduce more solid foods into your diet when you are ready.
One to Two Weeks after Tooth Extraction
Soft tissue wounds heal much faster than the ones outside the mouth. Therefore, you will notice that a significant amount of healing takes place within the first two weeks. If stitches were placed, they can typically be removed approximately seven to 10 days post-op. Most patients have resumed normal eating habits at this point. Generally, sockets from smaller teeth heal faster than sockets from larger teeth. When smaller teeth are extracted, the gums may close over in as little as two weeks’ time.
Three to Four Weeks after Tooth Extraction
If you had a molar tooth extracted, it may take three or four weeks for the tissue to close over. Once the gum tissue has reconnected, you will probably notice a small divot in the gums. This is because the gums have healed, but the bone has not. During the next several weeks, your body will begin to regenerate the bone that was lost during the extraction. Some patients may feel sharp bone fragments or splinters near the extraction site. This is a normal aspect of healing and should not be a cause for concern. If you experience this issue, it should resolve on its own within a couple of weeks.
Learn More about Tooth Extraction Recovery
If you are interested in learning more about recovery after tooth extractions or other oral surgery procedures, reach out to one of our team members. You can contact us online anytime or call our office at (201) 567-7766.
“Dr. Patil and his staff could not be more professional. They take the time to talk to you and explain what will be done. I am constantly surprised at how little pain is associated with the procedures they perform.” Jack T.