A toothache, especially a severe one is a dreaded experience for many. Most often, only your dentist can resolve this through proper dental care. When the cause of your toothache is due to excessive decay, damage or infection, a tooth extraction will be done. Cases like tooth overcrowding may warrant a tooth to be removed to correct spacing and alignment problems.
But what happens after a tooth extraction? Your dentist should provide you aftercare instructions to minimize possible complications, such as swelling, bleeding and infection. You should be able to care properly for the extraction site, otherwise, problems may arise.
Common Complications After Surgery
Swelling is a normal complication after tooth extraction because the tooth is pulled from the socket. This should be observed closely. The swelling should be gone as the extraction area heals within a few days. If the extraction causes extended pain, it can be due to an infection, and it should be treated immediately.
The extraction site will definitely cause some bleeding but it should be minimal and should be controlled almost immediately. The gauze shouldn’t be removed within one to two hours and resting is necessary. Also, avoid doing strenuous activities within 24 hours after the procedure. If you are not able to follow these instructions, then bleeding might persist.
There are also conditions and medications that may result in increased or excessive bleeding, such as hemophilia or taking anticoagulants, aspirin and non-steroidal analgesics. Your medical history should be known to the dentist prior to having a tooth extraction.
Infection can happen after a tooth extraction. This is why dentists pro-actively prescribe medication for pain and swelling and an antibiotic when infection arises. But one should only take them per the doctor’s instructions.
Increased bleeding, pain, swelling and pus may indicate an infection. This should be dealt with immediately by going back to the dentist to avoid further risks.
7 Tips to Avoid Complications After a Tooth Extraction
1. Don’t Smoke – No Tobacco, Whatsoever
Smoking can inhibit healing. This is because the level of oxygen in your blood decreases when you smoke. Oxygen is important to your wound healing.
2. Be Careful of the Extraction Area When Brushing
Brushing your teeth will certainly remove dirt and bacteria that can cause an infection. But be sure to avoid the extraction site to avoid bleeding and other complications.
3. Don’t Use Alcohol-Based Mouthwash
Sure you want to keep your mouth clean but avoid using alcohol-based mouthwash as it can irritate and excessively dry the extraction site.
4. Eat Soft Foods
You can only eat soft foods after the extraction. Start with soups, yogurts and puddings and gradually add solid foods to your diet. Make sure to give ample time for the wound to heal.
5. Stay Away from Grains (e.g. Granola, Rice)
Grains can get stuck in the extraction site that will prevent the wound from healing and may cause infection when not properly removed. Nuts and chips are also not advisable after a tooth extraction because they can reopen the wound and delay its healing.
6. Avoid Rinsing or Spitting Forcefully
Too much rinsing will make the extraction area wet and moist which can hamper the healing process. Spitting forcefully can dislodge the clot and can cause increased bleeding.
7. Use Warm Salt Water Rinses (for 1 week)
Warm water is relaxing to the extraction site. It can reduce pain and speed up healing. On the other hand, saltwater has an antibacterial property that helps prevent infection. A warm saltwater solution is even more effective.
Avoid Complications by Choosing MFDC for Tooth Extractions
They say, “It takes two to tango” to make things work. A good partnership is essential in dental care. As a patient, you need a dentist whom you can trust with your oral health. A good dentist will give you reliable tooth extraction aftercare instructions to prevent future complications.
That’s who we are! Modern Family Dental Care offers the best tooth extraction treatment and aftercare in Charlotte. We make sure that your tooth extraction procedure will be a breeze and pain-free. We also minimize complications and risks by providing the necessary medication and aftercare instructions.