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How to Care for a Tooth Extraction

by laticiagibson1
tooth extraction

A tooth extraction can be an uncomfortable, painful experience that you’d rather not have to go through in the first place, but sometimes it’s the right choice to keep your smile in tact and healthy. As soon as your tooth has been removed, you’ll want to take care of it right away so you don’t get an infection or lose your balance while you’re waiting to see your dentist or oral surgeon. Follow these simple steps after your tooth extraction and you’ll be on the path to recovery and a new smile in no time!

Stop the Bleeding

After you’ve been numbed and your tooth has been removed, your gum is going to bleed. This is normal, but you should know how to stop it. Start by applying pressure directly on top of where your tooth was. When you can’t do that anymore, apply pressure in between your gums and lips, then bite down firmly on gauze or anything else that will create pressure in your mouth without hurting you (toothpicks are good). Continue until bleeding stops. If bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes or so, ask someone who works at the dentist office for advice; they may have something that helps seal off those blood vessels better than anything you can use at home (you could also call an ambulance if needed).

Get Pain Relief

If you’re in pain after an emergency tooth extraction, there are several ways to get relief. While prescription drugs can provide temporary relief, over-the-counter meds are also effective and safer than going without any pain relief at all. See your dentist immediately if you experience any symptoms of infection, like redness or swelling around your mouth or cheekbones. Common side effects of painkillers include nausea and constipation.

Call Your Dentist

An emergency tooth extraction is usually an outpatient procedure. After your tooth is pulled, you’ll want to ensure that your gums are properly cleaned and any remaining pieces of bone or teeth are removed. Within 72 hours, call your dentist and schedule an appointment for aftercare and smile makeover services. This will help minimize swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. If you’re unable to call right away because of excess pain, rinse with warm salt water every hour until you can get in touch with your dentist. The sooner they can assess your mouth, they more they can do to minimize damage from extractions.

Brush Well

Tooth extraction means there’s one less tooth protecting your mouth from tooth decay. As soon as possible after surgery, you should make an appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon for care and cleaning. This will help prevent infection and maintain overall health of your smile. Also, use dental floss once your gums have healed—otherwise food may get stuck in between teeth, increasing decay risk. As always, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and see your dentist regularly for routine checkups. Your smile is one of your most valuable assets; make sure you are doing everything you can to protect it!

Rinse with Salt Water

Rinse your mouth with salt water after cleaning. Salt water helps keep your mouth clean and prevents infection. The extra saliva it produces will help heal any tissue that was damaged by extraction. Alternatively, you can use an over-the-counter oral rinse designed to promote healing in freshly-extracted teeth. Follow these directions: tilt your head back and apply a few drops of liquid directly onto your gums around where you had the tooth removed; use an oral syringe if you don’t have access to fresh running water. Wait about 30 seconds and then spit out any excess liquid. Do not swallow it, as it could irritate your stomach or esophagus.

Use Mouthwash

Dentists recommend using mouthwash after an extraction because it helps with healing and prevents infections. Since you can’t use regular toothpaste, you should try one made especially for people who have recently had dental work done. The ingredients in these toothpastes are specifically designed to decrease swelling and prevent bleeding, which allows your mouth to heal faster. You should also continue using salt water as instructed by your dentist; salt water flushes out any dirt or bacteria that may cause infections. Additionally, use ice packs on your face or under your cheek if you’re having some pain or swelling. These steps will help ensure a faster smile makeover from surgery!

Re-Inspect Before Seeing Your Dentist

If you notice any swelling or pain, go back and see your dentist. He or she will be able to better assess your extraction wound and prescribe treatment if necessary. The sooner you treat a problem, such as excess bleeding, gum irritation or dry socket,the better your chances of avoiding more serious complications. If left untreated, these issues can result in an unsightly smile makeover—which is not at all what you want with Halloween around the corner! You should have no reason to feel anything other than excited about showing off that smile next month, so do whatever it takes to make sure it stays healthy through October 31st.

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