At some point in our lives, we may need to have a tooth extracted. There are several reasons why this may be necessary, including extensive decay, traumatic injuries, aggressive periodontal disease, impacted wisdom teeth, and overcrowding. Whatever the reason, it is important to take proper care of your mouth after a tooth extraction to promote healing and prevent complications.
At Fifth Avenue Dental Arts in San Diego, we understand that having a tooth extracted can be a major decision for many patients. Fortunately, it’s a routine oral surgery that is easier than you might thing. Below, we’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to maintain great oral health after a tooth extraction to improve your long-term results.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
There are several reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted. Here are some of the most common:
- Extensive decay: If a tooth is severely decayed and cannot be restored with a filling, crown, or even a root canal, an extraction may be necessary to prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth.
- Trauma: If a tooth is fractured or broken due to injury or trauma, extraction may be necessary. Especially if the fractures are severe or extend into the root.
- Overcrowding: If a patient’s mouth is overcrowded, a tooth may need to be extracted to make room for other teeth prior to orthodontic treatment.
- Infection: If a tooth is severely infected and cannot be treated with a root canal, extraction may be necessary to prevent the infection from spreading. The same can be said if there is aggressive periodontal disease in the tissues immediately surrounding the root of that tooth.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips
Proper aftercare is essential for promoting healing and preventing complications after a tooth extraction. Here are some tips to follow:
- Bite down on a gauze pad: After the extraction, our San Diego dentist will place a sterile gauze pad over the extraction site to help stop the bleeding. Keep the pad in place by biting down gently for 30-45 minutes, changing it out with a new pad as needed. Most bleeding will subside within an hour or two.
- Apply ice or a cold compress: Swelling is common after a tooth extraction. To reduce irritation and inflammation, apply an ice pack to the affected side of your face for 10-20 minutes at a time.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after the extraction, if not longer.
- Eat soft foods: Stick to soft foods such as yogurt and mashed potatoes for the first few days after the extraction. Avoid crunchy or chewy foods that could irritate the extraction site.
- Avoid drinking through a straw: Drinking through a straw can create a suction, which may dislodge the blood clot that forms in the socket. This can lead to a painful condition called dry socket. Avoid using a straw for at least 24-36 hours after the extraction.
- Brush and floss gently: Brush and floss your teeth as usual, but be gentle around the extraction site. Avoid brushing the extraction site directly for the first few days. Instead, rinse with warm saltwater to remove any food debris in that space.
Tooth Extraction San Diego
If you need a tooth extraction and live in or near San Diego, Fifth Avenue Dental Arts is here to help. Our experienced team of dental professionals will work with you to ensure that your extraction is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We use state-of-the-art technology and techniques to minimize discomfort and promote healing for a quicker recovery time.
In addition to tooth extractions, we offer a wide range of dental services to meet your needs.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Contact Fifth Avenue Dental Arts today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our oral surgery and extraction services. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.