After a patient undergoes a tooth extraction, such as having the wisdom teeth removed, an empty socket remains where the tooth had previously been. In most cases, that hole will fill in with regenerated tissue over the course of a month after your extraction. Knowing what to expect from tooth extraction recovery and what to do to prevent problems will help this process proceed as expected.
What To Expect As You Heal From Your Tooth Extraction
To ensure that your healing process goes as smoothly as possible, you should know what to expect as you recover following your tooth extraction. For example, you may have some bleeding and discomfort for the first 24 hours after the extraction. Any pain usually can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Swelling may also occur and linger for a few days. Applying an ice pack as directed for the first 24 hours and then switching to heat will help to reduce the swelling.
If you notice any signs of complications, such as a fever, persistent bleeding or an odor around the extraction site, contact our office immediately to determine what type of follow-up care is needed.
Steps To Prevent Post-Extraction Complications
Your oral surgeon will give you detailed instructions about how to care for the tooth extraction site on your own, but here are some basic tips.
- Avoid drinking straws and smoking, which are the two most common causes of dry sockets. This painful complication occurs when the protective blood clot either fails to form in the socket or is dislodged early, exposing the sensitive bundle of nerves underneath.
- Keep the site clean as directed. Infection is always a risk after a surgical tooth extraction, but you can reduce that risk by taking action to minimize the presence of oral bacteria.
- Stick to a diet of soft foods for several days after the extraction, at least until your initial healing is complete.
This list is not intended to be comprehensive, so we encourage you to ask your surgeon any other questions you may have about how to take care of your smile following a tooth extraction.
Patients typically begin to heal from a tooth extraction within a matter of days, so you don’t have to worry that this treatment will cause an extended disruption to your routine. If you have any other questions about the timeline of your recovery, please contact Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.