Tooth extractions can cause trauma in the jaw bones and generally need a few days to a few weeks to fully heal. The recovery time of tooth extractions depends entirely on how easy the procedure goes along with the aftercare.
Your dentist should always provide you with careful instructions to follow after a tooth extraction to avoid any complications.
The Healing Process After Tooth Extractions
After a tooth extraction, there will always be a blood cot in the extraction socket. This blood clot is extremely important to the healing process. It is essential that the clot is not disturbed and does not dislodge until it is ready. Immediately after tooth extractions the blood flows from the alveolar bone and gingiva begin to clot. These clots prevent food and bacteria from entering the socket, as well as preventing bacteria from entering the underlying bone.
The extraction socket generally heals quickly, however, some discomfort and pain is to be expected for several hours after the procedure has taken place. Swelling and stiffness of the jaw generally lasts no longer than 2 or 3 days. The complete healing process should take no longer than one week.
Tooth Extractions Aftercare
The correct care should be followed to ensure quick healing. Any instructions provided by your dentist should be carefully followed. Such instructions may include:
1. Avoid lying down after an extraction. This will help to reduce bleeding.
2. Protect the wound by keeping any source of infection at bay. Chew soft food for at least 24 hours on the opposite side of the mouth. Do not prod your tongue on the extraction area. Wash your hands well before changing the gauze.
3. Do not spit or suck through a straw as this can cause bleeding, which may in turn dislodge the blood clot. This will result in a dry socket, which is prone to infection.
4. Do not carry out physical activity for the first five days, as strenuous exercise can cause bleeding.
5. Do not smoke, as this can cause bleeding and a delay in the healing process of the socket.
6. It is important for the healing process to carry out good oral hygiene. However, do not brush your teeth immediately after a tooth extraction. Wait until the following day to brush your teeth and take extra care when brushing close to the extraction area. You should also wait at least 24 hours to rinse your mouth, as this can disturb the blood clot.
7. It is normal to bleed a little after tooth extractions. Bleeding generally only lasts for the first day or two.
8. It is normal to suffer slight pain after tooth extractions. Simple extractions rarely cause much pain, whereas a surgical extraction can be more painful.
9. Some swelling may be experienced after an extraction, but will subside after 2 to 3 days. Ice packs can be used to help reduce any swelling.
10. If there is an increased risk of infection, antibiotics will be prescribed by your dentist.
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