• Dr Sonal Naran

I’ve had my tooth extracted – now what?

You’ve just had your tooth pulled out – now what can you expect?

You may experience the following

symptoms after an extraction:

1. Bleeding

When you leave the office, keep slight pressure on this gauze for at least 30 minutes. If the bleeding persists for a few hours, you may bite on a plain tea bag. The tannic acid assists in clotting

2. Pain

Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Before the anaesthesia wears off, take 2 Panados, Myprodols or similar non-aspirin pain reliever every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime. It is also important to follow the instructions on the label if pain medicine is prescribed. Do not take any aspirin, dispirin or Grandpa because this can cause an increase in bleeding.

3. Swelling

To make the swelling go down, put an ice bag on the face over the affected area. Keep it there for 15 minutes, then take it off for 15 minutes. Continue this for the rest of the day.

4. Numbness

The local anaesthetic will make you be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. After an extraction, you may feel lingering numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.

Also, please be careful in doing these activities after your extraction:

1. Do not disturb the area

For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to let your body to form a good clot and start the natural healing process. Swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge the clot

2. Brushing

Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but for 3 days, avoid the area where the tooth was pulled.

3. Rinsing

Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after extraction. Rinsing can delay a healing blood clot from forming, which is very important to proper healing. This could cause bleeding and risk of infection. After 24 hours, you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 8 ounces warm water). Do not use over-the-counter mouth rinses.

4. Diet

Eat soft foods for the first two days. Keep a good, balanced diet. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

5. Activity

After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.

6. Smoking

You should stop smoking after getting a tooth pulled. Cigarette smoke chemicals in your body slow down the healing and success of the extraction. Also, the suction created when inhaling cigarettes can dislodge the clot. Smokers are also at greater risk of developing a painful dry socket.

7. Antibiotics

If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: Some antibiotics can make birth control pills not work as well. Use another form of birth control for two months.

8. Sinus

If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing a wind musical instrument for one week. You might want to use decongestant medicine.

When should you be concerned?

1. If you have uncontrollable pain

2. If there is excessive or severe bleeding

3. If you notice a marked fever

4. If there is excessive warm swelling happening a few days after the procedure

5. Any reactions to medicines, especially rash, itching, or breathing problems

It is important to follow these instructions properly. These will make you feel more comfortable and help you avoid problems after the procedure. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us on 011 3046864.

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