Having a tooth pulled can be messy, but it’s usually done because it’s necessary for your dental health. Your dentist will pull a tooth to help reduce crowding or to make room for an implant. No matter the reason, caring for your mouth afterward is key to the healing process. You should expect your mouth to be sore in the days following the extraction, but you can help reduce swelling and heal faster using these tips from your team at Biltmore Commons Dental Care.
1. MINIMIZE BLEEDING
Following your procedure, your dentist will pack the area with gauze. You’ll then be asked to bite down on the padding for at least 20 minutes. This process is to help minimize the bleeding involved with pulling the tooth. The pressure of your bite can help the blood to clot, so the area will eventually stop bleeding. You might even be sent home with extra gauze just in case the bleeding returns. However, most people form a clot within 24 hours, and the healing process begins. You should avoid disturbing the clot where the tooth was, as this can leave the hole open to food and germs.
2. REDUCE THE SWELLING
Some tooth extractions can cause swelling. For example, people who have wisdom teeth removed often have facial swelling and slight bruising following the procedure. This is normal, but can make your mouth feel stiff and sore. So, once you get home, make sure you use ice packs or cold compresses to help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Getting the swelling under control and numbing the area will reduce your discomfort.
3. TAKE OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINE
In some cases, it may be necessary to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to feel better. Most people take a dose before the procedure and then again afterward. By doing this, you reduce the chances of experiencing any long-term or debilitating discomfort that can come with an open wound. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory activity of the pain medication will help reduce tissue inflammation and swelling, thereby reducing your pain.
4. EAT A SOFT DIET
After your procedure, you’ll likely feel nauseous and tired, which curbs your appetite. However, it’s still important that you eat something once you’re feeling a little better. Following your extraction, stick to soft foods like yogurt, mac ‘n cheese, or mashed potatoes. Cold, soft foods are usually the best route to take, but the main goal is to make sure you’re not crunching on chips or anything hard. Hard food particles could disturb the clot and thereby infect the area, causing bigger issues.
5. TRY A SALT WATER RINSE
Have you ever gargled warm salt water when you have a sore throat? That’s probably because salt has properties that kick-start the healing process. Similar to how it can soothe a sore throat, a saltwater rinse can also help promote healing after a tooth has been pulled. The salt creates an acidic environment that kills bacteria. It also has a mild astringent that helps with healing. However, it would be best to wait 24 hours after your procedure to light swish with saltwater.
WE HELP YOU SMILE WITH CONFIDENCE
As the trusted dental experts in Phoenix, AZ, Biltmore Commons Dental Care knows just how to make you smile with confidence. While tooth extractions are not our favorite part of the job, they’re often necessary restorative procedures. We also offer professional teeth whitening, root canals, and emergency dental care. So, request your appointment today at (602) 249-2227.