A tooth extraction can effectively treat a wide range of oral problems. We proudly offer tooth removal at the office of Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL because we understand how frustrating it is to suffer from chronic, debilitating pain. Today, we’re taking a closer look at this treatment including what results you can expect from it and how you should care for yourself afterwards. Here’s what you need to know.
What Should You Expect From a Tooth Extraction?
Once your problematic tooth is removed from your mouth, you can expect to enjoy significant pain relief. If you are seeking a dental extraction due to a tooth infection, you do not need to worry about the infection spreading from the infected tooth to your gums or other parts of your mouth. However, for optimal results, you must take a full course of antibiotics after your tooth is removed to treat any other areas that may also be infected.
Another thing you can expect from having a problematic tooth removed is that you will have a drastically reduced risk of future dental problems. For instance, having your wisdom teeth removed mitigates the risk that your teeth will become misaligned over time. Depending on the size of your mouth, wisdom teeth that are not removed can also result in such problems as tooth decay, TMJ disorder, and cysts.
What Should I Eat After My Tooth Removal?
During the first 48 hours following your tooth extraction, it is best to stick to foods that are as soft as possible. Some of the best foods to eat include eggs, pudding, oatmeal, thoroughly-cooked pasta, and yogurt that is free from nuts or bits of fruit. Ice cream, sorbets, smoothies, and milkshakes can also be consumed for energy during the first phase of your recovery. You should note, though, that you should be swallowing your foods whole rather than chewing.
Two to five days after your treatment, you can start eating foods that only require minimal chewing. For example, it’s okay to eat soft bread and foods like lasagna. You can also eat soups with well-cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, and yogurt with fruit bits.
What Should I Eat After Five Days?
Six days after your tooth extraction, you can start trying to eat foods that require more chewing, like popcorn. However, you should keep in mind that the harder it was for your tooth to be removed, the more likely it is that you will need a bit longer than five days of recovery to be able to eat whatever you want. If you only have one tooth removed during your treatment, you may want to chew exclusively with the untreated side of your mouth at first.
How Should I Care for My Mouth After My Treatment?
It is crucial that you keep your extraction site clean once your tooth is removed. To help keep the area clean, you should rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash every eight to 12 hours. You should not, however, brush the extraction site directly until sufficient progress has been made in your recovery. The untreated parts of your mouth may be brushed and flossed as normal 24 hours after your tooth removal. Here are some other aftercare guidelines to follow.
Take All Medications As Directed
Taking all medications exactly as directed is another very important thing you can do to help yourself heal quickly and comfortably from your tooth removal. For example, you should not exceed the recommended dosage of prescription analgesics. You also need to take care to not take too much ibuprofen or acetaminophen after your tooth is removed. Moreover, you will need to take all of the antibiotics required of you to mitigate the risk of an infection.
Take It Easy for Two to Three Days
It is also very important that you avoid vigorous physical activity in the first 48 to 72 hours following your tooth removal. Typically, it is advisable to avoid letting your heart rate get too high during the first two days post-tooth removal if you only had one tooth removed.
If you have multiple teeth removed during the same session, you should generally keep your heart rate normal for three days following your tooth extraction. Also, you should strongly consider not playing any sports for at least five days following your treatment.
Use an Ice Pack
You should also use an ice pack or bag of frozen produce if you feel that doing so would give you a better recovery experience. The ice pack should be wrapped in a tea towel so it is not touching your skin directly. You should place it on the side of your jaw that the tooth was removed from.
You should not keep the ice pack held up against your jaw for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and you should wait at least 10 minutes before reapplying it. Note that you should only ice your jaw during the first 24 hours after your tooth removal. After 24 hours, it will benefit you more to hold a warm towel against your jaw.
Can I Return to Work the Day After My Tooth Removal?
No, you should not go back to work the day after you have one or more teeth removed. Typically, you should expect to take one or two days off from work if you have a sedentary job. If your job is physically demanding, you should expect to need at least two to three days off from work to dedicate to your recovery.
Prevent Dry Socket
Preventing dry socket is another very important thing to do during your recovery. One of the most effective steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of dry socket is to not suck through a straw. If you want a milkshake for dinner, eat it with a spoon. Additionally, you can drastically reduce your risk of developing dry socket by not spitting forcefully during the first seven days following your tooth removal. Forceful spitting can result in a dislodged blood clot.
Finally, you should do everything you can to avoid smoking for at least one week following your tooth extraction. Note that if you choose to smoke, you are not just putting yourself at risk of dry socket. You are also increasing the likelihood that your recovery will take longer because nicotine consumption impedes blood flow.
Am I a Good Candidate for Tooth Removal?
Tooth removal may be right for you under numerous circumstances. Often, it is recommended in the case of crowded teeth, an impacted tooth, or a fractured tooth. This treatment is also commonly recommended in cases of severe tooth decay (cavities), serious dental injuries, like tooth luxation, and severe periodontal disease.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
After your tooth extraction, you can expect a significant reduction in pain. You’ll need to modify your diet during the first five days following your tooth removal. However, after that, you can generally expect to be able to eat whatever you want without any discomfort. If you suffer from chronic pain and think tooth removal could benefit you, contact us now at the office of Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL to schedule your initial consultation.