Tooth Extraction Aftercare: Minimizing Your Discomfort

If you have a decayed or damaged tooth, your dentist will do everything possible to preserve the tooth. However, in some cases, a tooth extraction will be necessary. If you need to have a tooth removed, following your instructions for aftercare can greatly reduce your discomfort as you heal.

Taking Care of Yourself after an Extraction

Before your tooth is removed, be sure to ask your dentist how to take care of yourself when you go home. She will supply aftercare instructions that you should follow to minimize your discomfort and to ensure thorough healing. Some instructions commonly included in these instructions include:

  • Use ice compresses to reduce swelling
  • Bite on a piece of gauze to control bleeding
  • Avoid smoking or using a straw
  • Take medication as prescribed or recommended by your dentist

Your dentist will probably also provide instructions about what kinds of foods to avoid after your extraction, and how long to avoid them. You might need to follow a liquid diet for the first day or two or eat only soft foods for a short period until your gums have time to heal.

How to Know if You Should Call the Dentist

Hopefully, your tooth extraction recovery will proceed without problems. But in some cases you might need additional help from the dentist. Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Continued bleeding
  • Extreme discomfort
  • Fever or other symptoms of infection
  • Extreme sensitivity

Infection after your extraction or dry socket should both be treated by your dentist as soon as possible. You’ll probably be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection, so be sure to take them exactly as instructed. If infection symptoms occur, anyway, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Dry socket occurs when the protective blood clot left behind after the extraction comes loose. This leaves bone and nerves exposed. Typical symptoms of dry socket include extreme sensitivity and aching in the jaw or ear. Your dentist can help if this occurs.

If you have a problematic tooth that might need extraction, call today.

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