Tooth removal or tooth extraction is the painless removal of a tooth or tooth roots. It requires minimum trauma to the surrounding tissues so that the socket wound heals without any complications.
Most dental surgeons have standard post-surgery instructions handed over to the patient. Following these instructions reduces the incidence of infection and other complications. If you do not follow aftercare instructions, it may cause issues and delay healing.
After tooth removal, do:
- Take pain medication exactly as directed. You need to follow every scheduled dose to stay on top of your pain.
- Take some time off work to rest after your procedure. You will be numb for quite a while after a tooth extraction, and if you had IV sedation for your surgery, you would likely feel a little loopy and out of it. Instead of rushing straight to the office after tooth removal, go home and rest.
- Watch your diet. Often, tooth extractions, such as wisdom teeth extractions, leave the jawbone tissue exposed. A blood clot will form over this exposed tissue, but it can get damaged or destroyed if you eat foods that are too rough and crunchy. Instead, stick to a liquid diet such as juices, soups, smoothies, and milkshakes. You can also eat mushy foods like bananas and eggs for the next few days while recuperating.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out after eating.
After tooth removal, don’t:
- Smoke for the next 48 hours after tooth extraction.
- Eat solids while your mouth is still numb to avoid choking.
- Skip your prescriptions, which help you feel comfortable and help reduce swelling
- Take aspirin, which is a blood thinner. It can prevent clotting and healing.
- Have hot drinks, sodas, candies, spicy foods, and sweets.
- Poke or pick at the gap or extraction site as this delays healing.
After a healing period of one to two weeks, you will most likely be able to go back to a regular diet. New bone and the gum tissue will grow over the extraction site as well. However, having a missing tooth can cause teeth to shift, affecting your bite.
You may want to ask your doctor about replacing the extracted tooth to prevent this from happening. Options include implants, fixed bridges, or dentures.