The first few days after a dental extraction are usually tough for a lot of patients. If you have ever had a tooth extracted, you might remember having some pain, swelling, and even mild bleeding. These should all resolve within a week or less.
Here at our family dentistry in Columbia, MD, we’ll give you these instructions at the end of your visit. Nonetheless, here are a few general guidelines to help you cope with the discomfort you might experience in the first couple of days.
You will probably be prescribed some painkillers for the first couple of days after the extraction. Taking these will eliminate the discomfort. Take them as prescribed and not for an extended time. To limit the swelling, merely applying ice to the side of the tooth will help. The ice is applied from outside over the skin, not from inside the oral cavity.
After the extraction, we’ll insert a piece of gauze in your mouth and ask you to bite on it firmly to aid the formation of a blood clot. We’ll also give you a few pieces of sterile gauze so you can replace each one before it gets soaked.
Don’t drink from a straw the first couple of days, especially the first 24 hours, after an extraction. The negative pressure from using a straw can dislodge the clot. Smoking can also affect clot formation and should be avoided.
Eat only soft foods for the first 24 hours. You can brush your teeth and floss but avoid the extraction site as the irritation can lead to bleeding. After the first 24 hours, we recommend that you rinse your mouth with warm water and salt. Rinsing should be avoided entirely during the first 24 hours.
Dental extractions are troubling, and you will probably need to make a few adjustments to your life for a few days. Rest, along with the instructions we mentioned, should help you get through. If you require anything different, then we’ll let you know.