Saving the teeth at all costs is at the pinnacle of dental practice. However, when the tooth is too damaged to repair, too decayed to save, and too painful to keep, dentists have no other option but to perform a tooth extraction. While most people know of tooth decay as the most common reason for extraction, there are numerous other reasons. But before you rush decisions, you should know what to expect after this procedure. After all, there could still be prolonged pain after getting your tooth extracted. Hence, knowing how to ease pain after tooth extraction and reinforcing your knowledge about this treatment will keep you away from these possible risks.
Tooth Extraction And Its Timeless Role In Oral Health
If there is one most common dental practice that people know, it would have to be tooth extraction. Also known as pulling off a tooth, this procedure aims to remove teeth accurately to resolve the associated problems. Although school children normally shed their baby teeth, the increasing number of oral problems at this age still warrants tooth extraction. And if you are an adult and think that you are safe from this, you are not. In fact, almost 31.6% of American adults have existing dental caries. And when you fail to treat it early, you could be the next patient in line for tooth extraction. This dental procedure could either be of the two types:
Simple Tooth Extraction
When your case is not severe and wouldn’t take long to pull the tooth out, the dentist would have to opt for simple tooth extraction. To help numb the pain during the process, the dentist will inject local anesthesia in the gums surrounding the area. Using a pulling instrument, you get to feel almost nothing when the tooth is pulled away.
Surgical Tooth Extraction
There could be many reasons that require surgical tooth extraction. One of which is wisdom tooth extraction. Since wisdom teeth are relatively larger and have longer roots than other teeth, you would need something stronger to numb the pain. Sometimes, both local and general anesthesia are essential to start the procedure. Depending on the complexity of the case, a surgical tooth extraction could last longer than you expect. With the higher dose of anesthesia, the patient usually sleeps off during the extraction. This technique also works for people with trauma or anxiety with dentists.
Pain After Tooth Extraction, Is It Normal?
With all the pulling and long hours in the dental chair, pain could be present even after the procedure. Some tooth extractions may even require gum incision and removal of some tissues. Hence, it may take a while for the now-empty socket to heal itself. And depending on your healing process, tenderness and pain in the area could be present for some time. In the first three days after the procedure, the area will remain painful. But the severity and intensity of discomfort should gradually subside with time. Discomfort around the jawbones may also be present since your mouth was open during the procedure.
The Importance Of Proper Healing And Clot Formation
Every extraction procedure will most likely involve a bloody scenario. Hence, it is important to let your dentist know if you have an existing medical condition before the extraction. Like any other cut in your body, letting the clot to form will reduce blood flow. A clot is the clump of blood and other body proteins that form on the wound’s opening. And from there, it would be easier for the body to replace the lost tissue and naturally stitch the wound back in place. This process goes the same during tooth extraction. And when you manage to dislodge the clot, it will not only disrupt the natural healing process; but could also put you at greater risk. After extraction, a dry socket is only one of the risks associated with disturbing the clot on the extracted area.
How To Ease Pain After Tooth Extraction
Indeed, pain is normal after tooth extraction. But you don’t have to bear with it when you can do ways to support recovery and even ease the discomfort.
The dentist could prescribe you some painkiller after the procedure. But not all dentists readily give these analgesics. But if you think it would take you a while to heal, you may ask for a prescription before leaving the clinic. Or you could opt for over-the-counter analgesics when the pain becomes too unbearable.
- Bite firmly on the gauze and change it as per required
Not only will you leave the dentist with few teeth less but with a gauze or cotton roll on the empty socket as well. The gauze will prevent the area from bleeding again. Leaving the gauze in place will also hasten the clumping of blood on the opening. But when it gets soaked in blood, you have to change it.
- Cold Compress
Applying an ice bag or towel-wrapped ice on your cheek with the pulled tooth could relieve you from pain. Furthermore, the cold temperature will hasten the clotting of blood and soothe inflammation. Thus you could boost recovery and prevent pain in one go. But it would be best if you practice precaution as too cold temperatures could also burn your skin. You could apply the cold compress every after 10 minutes to prevent burning the skin.
- Skip vigorous physical activity
You might want to skip heavy work or even intense exercise for a few days if you had a tooth extraction -especially a surgical one. The force you exert during work could also open the cut and prolong your healing process.
- Avoid spitting, rinsing, and using straws.
As these habits also put pressure on the extracted area, they easily disrupt clot formation. While you may need to rinse during brushing, do so gently. You will have to prevent doing these things until about a day or two.
- Keep off cigarettes
It’s time to prevent your smoking habits for a while after you had a tooth extraction. The chemicals found in smoke will attract infection and prolong the healing process.
- Stick on soft foods
Crunchy and crispy foods could open the wound as you need the pressure to chew them. It will help if you opt for soft and easy-to-chew meals such as yoghurt, pudding or applesauce.
When To See A Dentist
As you know, pain may persist for days, but bleeding should eventually stop hours or a day after the procedure. When blood keeps on flowing out of the area, you should visit a dentist right away. Such a sign may indicate complications such as dry socket and infection. Other signals you should look out for include:
Chills and fever
Persistent swelling and pain in the area
The need for tooth extraction and the pain associated with it is inevitable. But following through ways on how to ease pain after tooth extraction could save you from the post-extraction nightmare. While you may interrupt your normal schedule for a few days, these tips will ensure a complete healing process. After all, you wouldn’t want to develop complications just because of the lack of discipline and restraint. When you know what to do after your extraction, you don’t have to fear this tooth pulling procedure again.