There are various reasons why people may need to have a tooth extracted. The most common reason is that the tooth is too damaged from decay to be saved. However, other causes include:
- Crowding: When there is not enough room in the mouth for all teeth, they may become crooked or crowded. In some cases, teeth may need to be extracted to create more space.
- Impacted teeth: This occurs when a tooth is blocked from emerging through the gum. Impacted teeth can cause pain, infection, and damage to nearby teeth. They may need to be removed.
- Infection: If the tooth is infected, the infection can spread to other body parts. In some cases, a root canal procedure may be able to save the tooth. If the infection is severe, the tooth may need to be extracted.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is a serious infection of the gums and bones that support the teeth. If the disease is not treated, it can lead to tooth loss. In some cases, teeth may need to be extracted to treat gum disease.
Recovery Time and Tips
If you are scheduled for a tooth extraction soon and curious about how long recovery would take, here is what you need to know.
It’s normal to feel some discomfort after having a tooth extracted. In most cases, this is simply because your body is healing from the surgery.
Most people recover from an extraction within a few days. However, it is not unusual to feel some discomfort for up to a week after the procedure. Here are a few tips to help you recover quickly and reduce discomfort:
- Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist or doctor.
- Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth for 20 minutes. It can help reduce swelling.
- Eat soft foods for the first few days.
- Avoid using straws, as they can cause bleeding.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day.
- Avoid smoking, as it can delay healing.
If you follow these tips, you should be on your way to a speedy recovery.
What to Expect
Here’s a more detailed look at what you can expect during the recovery process:
Immediately After the Procedure
After your extraction, you will be given gauze to bite down on to help stop the bleeding. It is vital to keep the gauze in place for at least 30 minutes or longer if the bleeding persists. You may also be given an ice pack to help reduce swelling.
During the First 24 Hours
It’s important to keep your head elevated for the first few hours after your procedure to help reduce the swelling. You should also avoid drinking from a straw, as this can cause the formation of a blood clot to be delayed. It’s normal to experience some degree of swelling and bruising, which will peak about 48 hours after the procedure. To help reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your face for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
The Day After the Procedure
You can expect the numb feeling from the local anesthetic to wear off within a few hours after your procedure. Once the numbness has worn off, you may begin to feel some discomfort, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Be sure to take the medication as directed. You should also continue to apply ice to the outside of your face as needed.
Two to Three Days After the Procedure
By this time, the worst of the swelling and bruising should be gone. You may still have some discomfort, but it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medication.
One Week After the Procedure
At this point, you should be feeling back to normal. Any discomfort you are experiencing should be manageable with over-the-counter medication. Most people feel comfortable going back to work at this point.
One to Two Months After the Procedure
The healing process is complete at this point, and you should see your surgery’s full results.
Getting a tooth pulled can be stressful, but the recovery process is relatively straightforward. After the numbing medication wears off, you may have some soreness and swelling, but this can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers and ice packs. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for the extraction site, and make sure to take it easy for a day or two while your mouth heals.
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