Most dentists would rather not extract teeth. Unfortunately, severe infection or damage sometimes leaves a dentist with little choice. If you have a tooth extraction coming up, you'll likely want to recover as quickly as possible.
You'll be happy to know that oral wounds heal faster and more efficiently than wounds that occur anywhere else on the body. But you also have a role to play in the speed of your extraction site's recovery. The following advice should help you on your way to an uneventful and speedy recovery.
For the first two days after your extraction, be very diligent when caring for your tooth. During this early period, limit your physical activities and adjust your normal routines.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise or Activity for at Least 24 Hours
For at least 24 hours, avoid strenuous exercise. During this period, your body needs rest in order to promote healing. This rules out activities like lifting heavy weights, jogging, and exercising with body weights.
Rest With Your Head Elevated for Two to Three Days
When you rest, make sure you rest with your head elevated for at least the first two to three days. Resting with your head elevated will help to drain some of the fluids away from your healing extraction site and, thus, keep the swelling down.
Don't Blow Your Nose or Sneeze With Force
Even if your extraction site is stitched shut, you need to protect the blood clot that will form inside it. This is especially important during the first 24 hours. The blood clot is the foundation from which all healing will occur, so you need to refrain from creating suction in your mouth as suction could dislodge the clot. If you have to blow your nose or sneeze, do so very gently.
The way you eat and the things you choose to eat will affect the speed of your recovery. Make sure you prepare yourself in advance for changing your eating habits.
Stick to Soft Foods Until the Wound Has Healed
Your extraction site will heal within seven to ten days. Until your gum tissue has healed, avoid hard foods like nuts, crunchy vegetables, and well-done steak. Stick to soft foods like mashed potatoes and lukewarm soups.
Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods to Promote Healing
As your extraction site heals, try to eat nutrient-rich foods like vegetables and fish. Stay away from processed foods for the most part.
Don't Suck on Sweets
As mentioned earlier, suction will dislodge the blood clot inside your extraction site. So be sure to avoid sweets that you need to suck on, such as boiled candy.
When you have a healing extraction site, be very careful when drinking. Drinking the wrong thing or drinking in the wrong way could set you back days or even weeks.
Don't Use a Straw
Again, suction is bad for the blood clot. Don't use straws for at least 24 hours.
Drink Lukewarm Beverages
Be careful to avoid hot drinks as these can cause your extraction wound to swell. Swelling will slow down the healing process. If you enjoy hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate, drink them lukewarm instead.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol for a Few Days
Like smoking, alcohol can limit the body's ability to heal itself. For seven to ten days then, avoid alcohol.
Are you having trouble with an infected or damaged tooth? Then a tooth extraction might help you avoid severe pain and discomfort.