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What to Expect After A Tooth Extraction

Scott Tooth Extraction

A lot of times patients are so nervous in the lead up to a tooth extraction that they forget to think about what happens afterwards. The days after your procedure are important too—it’s a good idea to be prepared so you can get the rest you need and minimize the risk of complications.

Here’s what you can expect after a tooth extraction:

Aftercare Essentials

After the extraction procedure is complete, you’ll likely have a small amount of bleeding from the surgical site along with some swelling. As the anesthesia wears off, you will start to feel some pain too. If you were sedated for your tooth extraction, you may feel a bit disoriented; you’ll need to arrange to have someone drive you home.

Because of the bleeding, swelling, and pain, you should plan on taking the rest of the day off of work or school. For a simple extraction, you will likely need two or three days of rest afterwards; if you had a fully or partially impacted tooth extracted, plan on a week for recovery.

We will give you detailed aftercare instructions before you leave our office, but here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Use cold compresses to help control swelling and pain.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • Do not use a straw for at least 24 hours after the surgery.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Do not participate in any strenuous exercise.
  • Brush very carefully and avoid the surgical site.

If your pain starts getting worse instead of better or if you have signs of infection like fever, inflammation, and odor or discharge from the surgical site it’s important to contact us immediately.

Pain Management

If your tooth was fully erupted and you only needed a simple extraction, you are likely to recover quickly. Because incisions are made into the soft tissue and bone may need to be removed when a tooth is impacted, these extractions have a longer recovery and are more painful in the days after surgery.

To manage pain, it’s important to take any medication we recommend or prescribe exactly as instructed. Use cold compresses as needed and get plenty of rest. Many patients underestimate the power of simply letting their bodies recover and heal after surgery; you may feel like you’re up to doing the dishes or working out, but it’s important not to push yourself.

What to Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Another important tip is to stay hydrated. It will keep your mouth healthier and help with the healing process. Start sipping water after your procedure. When it comes to eating, you may not have an appetite initially and that’s absolutely fine. Eat soft foods when you feel hungry again—soup, applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and anything that doesn’t need to be chewed is a good option. 

Avoid hot foods, hard foods like nuts and seeds, and anything that’s chewy like caramels, gum, or crusty bread. This can worsen jaw pain.

Learn More About Tooth Extractions

If you need a tooth extraction, contact us today at 505-821-2111 to learn more or schedule an appointment at our practice.