A tooth extraction is one of the most common dental procedures. It is estimated that more than 20 million teeth are extracted each year in the United States. During the tooth extraction procedure, the dentist injects a strong anesthetic into the area surrounding the tooth to prevent the patient from feeling any pain. They then loosen the tooth using various instruments before pulling it out.  

Once the tooth is removed, the dentist places gauze over the extraction site to stop bleeding and promote clotting. The dentist also provides aftercare instructions, which must be followed to speed up recovery. Here are some of the things you should do after a tooth extraction procedure to help the area heal: 

Immediate aftercare (first 48 hours) 

When a tooth is extracted, the dentist will stitch up the site, but it is natural for the socket to bleed. The dentist will place gauze pads on the site to absorb the drainage, control bleeding, and promote clotting. Ideally, you should keep the gauze in place for at least 3-4 hours following the tooth extraction. If it gets soaked, you should replace the gauze as required. Some of the things that you should avoid for the first 24 hours include: 

Eating hard, chewy, or crunchy foods such as nuts, seeds, candies, etc., which can get stuck in the socket 

Must avoid after tooth extraction 

  • Mouth rinsing
  • Smoking or alcohol consumption
  • Drinking or slurping, use a straw instead
  • Brushing and flossing around the socket
  • Using alcohol-based mouthwash

It is normal to experience some pain following the procedure. You will be prescribed painkillers to ease your pain and discomfort. Acetaminophen is the most commonly prescribed painkiller and works well for most patients. However. some patients may require stronger painkillers.  

Another important thing to do for faster healing is to take plenty of rest. For the first 24 hours, you should rest well. While sleeping, prop your head up using pillows to minimize bleeding. Taking care of these simple things for the first 24 hours after the surgery can help you recover faster.  

Care instructions for the week thereafter  

Once the clot is formed, it is important to keep it securely in place and follow some hygiene tips to prevent any complications.  

Eat softer foods

For the first week, you should eat softer foods such as soup, eggs, pasta, yogurt, soft fruits, and well-cooked vegetables. You must avoid extremely hot or cold foods as well as spicy and acidic foods.  

Saline rinse

Gently rinse the mouth with a saline solution made by adding a pinch of salt to a glass of warm water. It will kill bacteria in the mouth and prevent infections  

Brush regularly

Do not skip your regular brushing and flossing routine. Gently brush your teeth while avoiding the extracted tooth. 

When to call your dentist?  

If you have had a difficult extraction, your dentist will call you for a follow-up appointment to remove any stitches or simply to check if the area is healing well. 

You should call your dentist immediately if there is excessive bleeding or if you have any signs of infection, such as fever or chills. Other signs of infection include severe swelling or pus from the extraction site. You must call your dentist if your pain persists several hours after the extraction or if the painkillers do not seem to work.  

By following these simple care tips, you can prevent complications and ensure quick healing and recovery. 

Considering a tooth extraction? Consult Burnside Dental Care for a thorough evaluation and a comfortable procedure. Rest assured, we’ll provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth healing process.

Our Dental Practices

East Hartford Office

(860) 289-9558
270 Burnside Avenue East Hartford, CT 06108

Hartford Office

(860) 232-9002
576 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT

Berlin Office

(860) 799-4185
300 New Britain Rd Berlin, CT 06037