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Having a tooth extraction is certainly not the most pleasant thing, but let’s be honest – 30-40minutes tops, and in most cases, it’s over. For most of us, recovery can be simple, even if the extraction is surgical. You can’t eat for a few hours, and you avoid drinking from a straw, but the almighty blood cloth usually appears quickly and closes the wound, which then recovers completely heals in a few days.
Luckily, there are also a few things that you can do to speed up healing after tooth removal.
Hold on to the gauze
If your dentist has placed gauze over the wound, you can typically remove it in about 30 minutes. If you want to heal faster, however, don’t. Please leave it in place for as long as you can (preferably around the 2-hour mark) and remove it then. This trick is particularly essential for those on blood-thinning medication, for which you absolutely must warn the dentist before the procedure.
Don’t touch the place, no matter what
Regardless of any inconvenience you may be experiencing, you mustn’t touch the extraction location, even if you’ve washed your hands. Your gums will be very sensitive, and a seemingly innocent touch could cause trauma. If it hurts, take the painkillers that the dentist prescribed. If it starts bleeding, bite on a piece of tissue or cotton, and if it doesn’t stop within the next 20-30 minutes, book an emergency dental appointment, but whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH IT!
Avoid sticking your tongue where the tooth used to be
One of our first instincts after a tooth extraction is to examine the area with our tongues. As tempting as it might be, try to avoid it to the best of your abilities and if you catch yourself distracted, simply slide your tongue on the teeth, but avoid the gums. Although your tongue is soft, it can still hurt the gums or remove the formed blood cloth, crucial for your fast healing after tooth extraction.
If you’re a smoker, the desire to light up a cigarette the second you’re out of the dental clinic is probably strong, but you must be stronger! Resist the urge to avoid contaminating the bacterial environment in your mouth with the chemicals in cigarette smoke. If you can’t hold it for too long, aim for at least 7-8 hours after the extraction. If the removal were surgical, you’d have to stay put for a minimum of 24h, however difficult this may be.
Most of us would be tempted to use a straw for drinking after the extraction in an attempt to guide the liquid away from the wound. Do not be fooled – this actually isn’t helpful. The vacuum you create when using a straw increases the risk of removing the blood cloth from the wound significantly, and you don’t want to be doing that.
Avoid very cold and scorching drinks for at least 48h
Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal, so long as we don’t make it harder for them. Drastically changing the temperature in your mouth is a mini shock to the organism, and it makes it focus on dealing with what it perceives as imminent danger. Let it deal with the extraction wound instead by avoiding shocking temperatures.
No starchy foods
This is yet another tip that isn’t intuitive. After tooth removal, we’re usually keener on softer foods that don’t involve a lot of chewing, and just so it happens that most of them are starchy (mashed potatoes, peas, etc.). However, the problem with starchy foods is that the tiny particles these foods consist of tend to find their way under the gum line very quickly. These particles often cause an infection, which would be detrimental to your quick recovery.
We hope these tips help you heal quickly from your tooth extraction. If it isn’t working, though, and you still feel the area problematic after a few days, do not delay giving us a call.