Tooth extractions are one of the most frequently performed oral surgeries. After a tooth is extracted, a cavity on gum is left. This tooth socket is going to be closed off with either dissolvable or non-dissolvable stitches. Post-operative care, including caring for these sutures to prevent the risk of infection, re-bleeding, and wound re-opening is thus crucial. Proper post-operative care is important in promoting proper and if possible, faster healing to the operated tooth socket.
How to take care of a pulled tooth socket
Proper steps and cautions are required to promote proper healing process to a post-operated tooth socket. To take care of a pulled tooth socket and promote faster healing:
Never disturb the wound site.
After the procedure is performed, the body will respond by sending blood to nourish and clean the tooth socket. Your dentist will ask you to bite a piece of clean cotton in between the upper and the lower teeth. This is really important, as the pressure given will maintain sufficient pressure to promote bleeding and promote blood clot on the wounded socket. Put the cotton stay and never rub or touch this socket with any instruments during the healing process. Some basic things are advised not to be done during this healing period, which include:
- Smoking and using tobacco products within the first 4 to 5 days after the performed procedure. Smoking will slow the healing process down and may trigger a condition referred as dry socket, which is very painful.
- Spit or suck through a straw. The act of spitting and sucking will promote bleeding and dislodge the blood clot, which may end up in re-bleeding and delayed healing of the wounded socket.
- Do not drink alcohol during the entire healing process that may take up to 10 days.
- Perform proper oral hygiene cautiously.
Even after tooth extraction procedures, you need to perform proper oral hygiene practices, regardless the bleeding and wound that are still present. Despite this, all hygiene practices should be done with cautious to minimize the risk of disturbed wounded tooth socket.
- Brushing the extraction site is not advised within the first 3 to 5 days as this will interfere blood clotting from the socket. Brushing the teeth carelessly may thus lead to re-bleeding and dislodged blood clots that may delay the healing process.
- Using toothpaste may aggravate the wounded extraction site so that it is not recommended to be done during the first 2 to 3 days after the performed surgery. Instead, brush gently with warm water.
- Gargling the mouth with mouthwashes is not recommended during the first 24 hours after the extraction. Afterward, you can gargle the mouth with a warm saline solution that helps killing present bacteria around the extraction site.
Mind your diet.
What you eat will determine the amount of time you will need to heal a pulled tooth socket. Some foods may aggravate the wound site and thus, not recommended, while some others are beneficial for the entire healing progress.
- For the first 1 to 2 days after surgery, stick only to soft or liquid foods, such as mash potatoes, juices, smoothies, soups, or puddings. It is important that you avoid foods that crumble and can be sharp, such as chips, as they may cause irritation to the pulled tooth socket.
- Avoid foods and drinks that are hot, as this may trigger bleeding.
- Watch your activities.
In addition to what you eat, activities you are doing after tooth extraction procedure also holds an important role in the entire healing process. For the first one or two days, you are advised to limit your activities, as heavy activities may increase the risk of bleeding. It is also important to elevate your head slightly when lying down, as this may help inhibit excessive blood flow to the pulled tooth socket that increases the risk of re-bleeding.
Are medications required for healing a pulled tooth socket?
During the first days after tooth extraction, discomfort is likely to occur within the pulled tooth socket area. In addition to this discomfort, mild or more severe pain might be felt. To relieve this pain, analgesic tablets containing ibuprofen can be considered to be taken every 4 to 6 hours. The dentist may also prescribe medications to promote faster healing and prevent the risk of post-operative infection of the pulled tooth socket. If prescribed antibiotics, it is important that it is finished based on the instructions. Although painkillers and anti-inflammation medications can be put into consideration, you should put in mind that aspirins are not advised to be taken after a tooth extraction procedure, since these medications may trigger bleeding. If you are suffering from swollen cheeks after the procedure, cold compresses can be applied with cautions.