What to Expect When Your Tooth Has to Go | Maintaining a Happy, Healthy Mouth Post-Surgery

In our post, "The Impact of Wisdom Teeth | What They're For and When They Need to Come Out" we shared some insight into the misconceptions surrounding wisdom teeth and wisdom tooth extraction.

But what happens when you do need oral surgery? Here are a few things you might expect following a tooth extraction.

Please note it's crucial you follow all of the directions given to you by your dentist after any procedure in order to experience complete health and healing.

About Bleeding

Following your procedure, your dentist may insert a gauze pack into your mouth in order to limit bleeding as your open wound begins to clot.

This can be kept in place for thirty to forty-five minutes at which point it can be removed and exchanged for clean gauze. It's a good idea to continue replacing the gauze every half hour as long as blood continues to soak the cloth.

It's important to note that if you experience heavy bleeding, call your dentist!

On Clotting

Our bodies are amazing healing machines, and clotting is an important part of the healing process!

As your mouth begins to heal and recuperate it's crucial you take care not to disturb the scabbing taking place at the extraction site.

You can do this by following a few simple rules like but not limited to:

  • Not Smoking
  • Avoiding Rinsing Your Mouth Vigorously or Drinking Through a Straw for 24 Hours Post Surgery
  • Avoiding Alcoholic Beverages or Mouthwash Containing Alcohol
  • Brushing and Flossing the Teeth Being Careful to Avoid the Healing Tooth Socket
  • Limiting Strenuous Activity 24 Hours After Surgery

If you begin to experience pain in your socket due to the breakdown of a blood clot or if the socket doesn't clot within the first day or two after your tooth extraction, you may have dry socket or osteitis. Be sure to give your dentist a call if this happens or if you have any other concerns.

Keeping Things Clean

It's normal to notice an unpleasant taste and bad breath after you've had oral surgery. Brushing and flossing your teeth and tongue is a good way to get rid of the unpleasantness and start feeling your freshest self again. Just be sure to avoid the sockets that are on the mend.

The day after surgery you can begin gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water after meals. This will help to keep food particles out of your sockets, sooth and speed up the recovery process.

An Anesthetics Analysis

Following oral surgery, you may experience numbness depending on the anesthetic type and amount used during your procedure.

Though you should regain feeling within a few hours, it's a good idea to avoid foods that require chewing to prevent biting your tongue.

It's also important to avoid drinking liquids using a straw, because the sucking action may loosen blood clots.

Pain and Puffiness

Pain and puffiness often go hand in hand with tooth extraction. Many patients find that applying cold compresses to their faces helps to reduce these.

After surgery, your dentist may instruct you to use an ice bag or cool, moist cloth periodically. They may also send a cold pack home with you to keep your swelling in check.

If you are in severe pain or experience prolonged bleeding, fever, nausea, vomiting or swelling call your dentist immediately!

Diet After Dentist

After an extraction, be sure to drink lots of cool liquids and eat soft, healthy foods but avoid alcohol and hot liquids that could interrupt your healing.

You can begin introducing solid foods back into your diet the day after surgery or as soon as you can chew comfortably. You may want to try chewing foods on the opposite side of your mouth as your open socket until you're able to chew comfortably on both sides.

The Follow Up

Your dentist will most likely schedule a follow-up appointment so that he or she can make sure your mouth is healing nicely and to answer any questions you may have. He or she might also take out any sutures that require removal.

It's important to follow all instructions given to you by your dentist and become a student when it comes to your oral procedure. And if you do require one or more tooth extractions, take heart! A healthy, beautiful smile is coming your way!

Contact our office if you or someone you know has questions about procedures we offer or if you'd like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Moore. We can't wait to meet you and welcome you to the Lake Cities family!