In the oral cavity, the tooth lies within the alveolar bone. The term tooth extraction refers to atraumatic removal of tooth or tooth roots from the surrounding alveolar bone. Post tooth extraction, a new alveolar bone gets formed in the socket. This complete process of wound healing takes three months. It is essential to follow the do’s and don’ts after tooth extraction, provided below, in the first week post tooth extraction. Minimum trauma to the surrounding tissues facilitates uneventful wound healing. It also reduces the risk of postoperative complications.
All dental professionals aim for quick healing after tooth extraction. A dentist shares instruction sheets with the patient post-extraction. The dentist then explains the patients how to follow the suggested guidelines. These instructions help to reduce the chances of infection and also avoid dry socket formation. These guidelines enable proper clot formation and enable smooth recovery. Not following these instructions may delay the healing process and can also lead to complications.
Do’s And Don’ts After Tooth Extraction
The process of tooth extraction can be made painless and free of complications by following these guidelines:
Things To Do post Tooth Extraction
1) Post tooth extraction, sutures are placed at this tooth extraction site to close the wound. Wounds heal better when sutured.
Seven days after the extraction, the dentist calls the patient for the next visit. During this visit, the dentist removes the sutures and also checks the healing process.
Care should be taken that the sutures are not disturbed during this period of seven days.
2) After placing sutures, the dentist places a gauze at the site of tooth extraction. Gauze stops the bleeding and helps in clot formation.
This gauze should be held tight at the site for 30 to 45 minutes. Sometimes a patient may be asked to hold the gauze for a few hours too.
In such cases, gauze needs to be replaced every 30 minutes.
One should avoid chewing the gauze and it should be held tightly on the wound.
3) The dentist prescribes medications after extraction. These include antibiotics and analgesics.
Antibiotics help in preventing postoperative infection. Analgesics help in relieving postoperative pain.
The dentist may also prescribe some antacids to avoid acidity. These medicines should be taken regularly on time.
4) A patient should consume only soft food after surgery. Intake of hard food can cause injury. Sutures may open up, or bleeding may start.
Soups, fresh fruit juices and mashed vegetables are the best options for consumption. Intake of soft food helps in quick healing.
5) Applying an icepack on that side of the face where the surgery is performed. This process helps to reduce the swelling.
Swelling may not always be present after an extraction. Sometimes, the swelling may not be present on the same day of extraction but may develop after a few days.
Icepacks are most effective when applied on the same day of surgery. They should be used every 15 minutes.
6) Resting for the next 24 hours is a must. One should take leave from work for three days. You should avoid straining yourself during these days. While resting, it is important to keep the head slightly upright. Exertion will affect the healing process.
7) The patient should rinse his/her mouth with warm, salted water 12 hours after the surgery. Rinsing helps to keep the socket clean and free of debris. Clean sites heal quickly. One should avoid spitting out water forcefully while rinsing.
Things To Avoid Post Tooth Extraction
1) Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours after surgery. Chemicals present in the smoke affects the process of clot formation. Any disturbance in this process can lead to dry socket. Dry socket is a painful condition. It is best to undertake measures to avoid it.
2) Avoiding exercise for the next 12 to 24 hours and resting for a few days.
3) Avoid using straws while drinking. Using a straw to drink liquids may cause clot dislodgement. This will lead to dry socket. Use a glass for drinking liquids.
4) Avoid spitting. Solid and liquid food should only be swallowed. Spitting can lead to dislodgement of the clot.
5) Should not start eating immediately after the extraction. Should only consume a liquid diet for the first 24 hours.
6) Avoiding hot drinks, spicy food and sodas. Also, hard food like nuts, peas and hard vegetables should be avoided. They can cause soft tissue injury and can prolong the healing process.
7) Avoid touching the site with your tongue. It takes around a month for the site to heal completely. Till then, the site is rough. Poking in that area with a toothpick or tongue should also be avoided.
8) No medicines, other than the ones prescribed, should be consumed. In case of any medical history, it should be discussed with your dentist. Do not take aspirin since it is an anticoagulant. It will act against the process of clot formation, thereby interfering in the healing process.
9) Do not brush the operated site for the next 24 hours. This may cause injury and bleeding of the soft tissues. Rinse your mouth to keep the site clean.
10) Do not ignore excessive bleeding or pain. Immediately consult your dentist for relief.
It is essential to protect the site from any physical or chemical injury. Allowing complete clot formation helps the wound to heal smoothly. Following the above do’s and don’ts after tooth extraction helps in proper clot formation and a quick recovery.