Essential Tips to Help You Recover From a Tooth Extraction

Dec 02, 2023

If you’re having a tooth extracted in the near future, you might feel a little overwhelmed and nervous at the thought of it all. While it’s normal to feel a little anxious before an oral surgery, tooth extractions are extremely common and standard dental procedures.

Laura Llanos, DMD, and the rest of our team at Llanos Dental Group in Miami Lakes, Florida, want to give you some peace of mind about your tooth extraction and also provide some tips to promote an efficient recovery that has minimal amounts of pain.

Why is tooth extraction necessary?

While many times damaged teeth can be repaired with fillings, crowns, or other dental treatments, in some cases, the damage is too severe to repair, making extraction necessary. 

Other common reasons for tooth extraction include:

  • There’s an infection deep in the tooth
  • Tooth is severely broken due to trauma or injury
  • Your mouth is too small for all your teeth
  • Need to make room for orthodontic treatments

Sometimes your teeth can become impacted — stuck inside your gums — and can cause pain and other teeth to shift. It’s common for wisdom teeth to become impacted and then need to be removed.

The tooth extraction process

Before the actual oral surgery begins, we numb the area where the tooth is being extracted with a local anesthetic. In some cases, we can also provide you with a combination of laughing gas and sedative anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain-free.

When it comes time to extract the tooth, we start by using specialized instruments to loosen the tooth and then pull it out of the socket. If the tooth is badly decayed and broken or the tooth is impacted, we then make incisions in your gum in order to pull out the hidden portion of the tooth. Lastly, we apply any necessary stitches and disinfect the surgical site.

Once the extraction is complete, we place gauze over the extraction site to slow down bleeding.

Tips for tooth extraction recovery

Soon after your oral surgery, we’ll send you home to recover. We recommend following these steps carefully to reduce risk of infection, minimize discomfort, and encourage speed recovery:

  • Take any painkillers exactly as prescribed
  • Change gauze pad every three to four hours
  • Apply ice for 10-minute periods to reduce swelling
  • Restrict any activity for 24-48 hours after your procedure
  • Don’t rinse or spit forcefully for a few days
  • Eat only soft foods such as soup, yogurt, and mashed potatoes until the site is healed
  • Keep your head elevated when lying down

You can brush and floss as normal as long as you avoid the extraction site for a few days to prevent an infection.

If you have any questions before your tooth extraction or have any issues during your tooth extraction recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. You can contact us online or over the phone at 305-556-0528.