Your permanent teeth are supposed to stay intact your whole life. However, there are certain conditions that may make a tooth extraction necessary. Some of the common reasons for a tooth extraction include tooth fracture, loosening of the teeth due to periodontal disease (serious gum infection), severe tooth decay, and third molar impaction (when a wisdom tooth fails to grow in a functional position).
As with any type of surgery, it is the goal of every dental surgeon to ensure proper, quick, and smooth healing after a tooth extraction. Thus, it is a common practice for dental surgeons to provide patients with postoperative instructions –-which they need to strictly follow— in order to prevent infection and other complications.
Regardless of the reason for your tooth extraction, make sure to heed these dos and don’ts after your tooth extraction.
o Do stop smoking after your extraction.
Ideally, you’re supposed to stop smoking at least 12 hours before your procedure, but you also need to do so for at least 48 hours after—or gradually quit altogether. Nicotine slows down the healing process. Also, puffing at your cigarette and inhaling the smoke can increase your risk of dislodging the protective blood clot and developing a dry socket, which can lead to infection.
o Do opt for soft foods at first.
The first 24 hours following your surgery, you’re supposed to eat only soft foods, such as gelatin, ice cream, pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and applesauce. You may transition to your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.
o Do rinse your mouth regularly.
After 24 hours, you may start to rinse your mouth with saltwater, which is a natural antiseptic. Saltwater cleans the extraction site as you swish it around your mouth and can effectively soothe irritation and pain.
o Do brush gently
Oral hygiene remains imperative after a tooth extraction. Nonetheless, you need to be careful when brushing your teeth –making sure you don’t touch the extraction site. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean the surrounding area gently.
o Do take your antibiotics, as instructed by your dentist.
If your dentist prescribed antibiotics, you need to continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if you don’t feel any signs of infection.
o Don’t pick at the area.
While it’s quite tempting to use your tongue, finger, or a toothpick on the extraction site, you have to resist this urge, as you could introduce bacteria into the open wound or accidentally dislodge the protective clot.
o Do take it easy the first few days.
Your dentist will also recommend that you avoid strenuous activities at first. Exercise elevates your blood pressure, which can increase post-extraction bleeding. Ultimately, this will hinder the clotting process.
Tooth Extraction in Eugene, OR
You can rest assured that when you see Dr. Binder for an extraction, he will take all necessary measures to make the procedure as comfortable as possible and ensure you have a smooth and quick recovery. Dr. Binder can administer IV sedation to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout your procedure.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Binder or learn more about our dental services, call us at 541-689-1645, or you can request an appointment online.