If you’ve ever had your tooth removed, chances are you already know how the treatment and recovery process can be. While experiencing pain and fatigue after your tooth extraction is entirely normal, it should resolve by itself after a few weeks. However, if the tooth extraction pain persists, it is time to talk to your dentist.
An Overview of Tooth Extraction
A tooth extraction procedure is often the last resort to resolve severe dental concerns. It may be the necessary choice to avoid worsening various conditions, including dental abscess, crowded teeth, and an impacted wisdom tooth.
Dental surgeons perform the extraction procedure in their clinic. Before surgery, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic around the area where the extraction will occur. This anesthesia works to keep the patient from experiencing any discomfort during the procedure.
With a set of tools, the dentist will loosen the tooth root. While steering away from the nerve endings, careful extraction of the tooth will follow. The procedure often lasts for less than an hour, depending on the patient’s condition.
What Happens After Tooth Extraction?
After the removal procedure, a dental staff will place a gauze over the extraction site. Doing so will help control the bleeding and facilitate clotting. Following many factors, the aftercare process for an extracted tooth may vary.
Before your surgeon allows you to go home, the dental staff will discuss several aftercare reminders that you need to observe. It is essential to keep these instructions in mind to speed up the healing process. Typically, you should be able to go back to your usual routine in two weeks.
Tooth Extraction Pain
During the healing process, you should expect significant pain around the area where the extraction took place. It usually fades away within twenty-four to seventy-two hours of the procedure. However, if your pain lasts longer than the given period, you might be developing an underlying concern. In some cases, unbearable pain can be a manifestation of a severe dental emergency.
Since each person recovers in their ways, it is necessary to keep in mind that every case may come out differently. To avoid complications and let the healing process go as smoothly as possible, be sure to speak with your dentist as much as possible. Your dentist will be able to walk you on the best course of action for dealing with tooth extraction pain.
What Are the Causes of Tooth Extraction Pain?
The following are a few reasons why you could be experiencing pain after getting your tooth extraction:
A dry socket is the most frequent cause of pain following a tooth extraction procedure. After the treatment, a blood clot forms to secure the bone and nerves in the tooth socket. Over a couple of days, it will solidify and heal.
However, the clot can dislodge if the patient does not follow the proper aftercare instructions. Losing this clot means there can be an exposure of the nerves, which is very painful. Moreover, it leaves the patient more vulnerable to severe infections.
To avoid a dry socket, dental surgeons make use of different methods. One is through applying clotting aids in the extraction sites, while the other is by dissolvable stitching. These materials are natural factors that the body can safely and readily absorb to boost clotting.
It’s more likely that you have an infection if your pain accompanies signs of fever, swelling, and persistent bleeding. An infected tooth becomes filled with pus that goes deep within its layers as it reaches the root.
To resolve the infection and ease your pain, you will need to take a complete antibiotic course. Your dentist will prescribe the necessary medication to get rid of pus and keep the area from hurting.
Also known as osteonecrosis, the death of a particular part of your bone can cause tooth extraction pain. The gums will not heal around the area with dying bones, and they may become more exposed, which can predominantly lead to the development of a painful sensation. Only your dentist can identify signs of necrosis, so it is best to talk to them when the pain becomes unbearable.
How to Relieve Tooth Extraction Pain?
For most people, the pain from tooth extraction is far worse than the oral surgery itself. Sometimes, complete recovery could mean taking a long and painful process. However, it is not supposed to end up this way.
There are several techniques that you can do to relieve your tooth extraction pain. Here are some of the most common recovery methods that you can rely on:
Get Plenty of Rest
After your extraction surgery, experts recommend dedicating twenty-four hours to complete rest. As the anesthesia begins to wear off, your body might not feel very well. There are also instances where some patients may experience a slight fever or feel a little feverish. It usually resolves on its own after a few hours.
Change Your Gauze Often
After the dentist places the first gauze in your mouth, you should allow the clot to form for at least a few hours. Once it dries up, you should be fine to change the gauze as frequently as possible. Replacing the gauze when necessary helps reduce your chances of getting an infection. It keeps your wound clean and free from any bacteria build-up.
Avoid Spitting or Using Straws
In the first few days following your surgery, your dentist might warn you to avoid using straws or spitting. These activities can create pressure in your mouth, which places a lot of stress on the healing wound. Doing so can dislodge the blood clot and reset your healing process.
Over-the-counter pain killers can help patients relieve tooth extraction pain quickly and safely. For example, both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are anti-inflammatory muscle relaxants that help successfully ease post-extraction discomfort. However, you should ask your dentist to see if these or other medications are appropriate for your particular condition.
If you’ve undergone complex oral surgery, your dentist will prescribe specific medications to help with your recovery. Be sure to follow the complete course of treatment as it is crucial to avoid complications.
Eat Soft Foods
Throughout your healing, you should consume only soft foods. Soups, yogurt, applesauce, and other similar meals do not take much chewing and are therefore a good choice during your recovery. Sticking to soft foods until you fully heal will prevent irritation and minimize the possibility of experiencing pain.
On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid chips, toast, and other hard-to-chew foods. The debris from these types of foods is very likely to become trapped in an empty socket. It can easily lodge to your gum tissue and cause irritation and infection.
Elevate Your Head
Using extra pillows to elevate your head as you sleep is vital to improving your healing time. When you lie down too flat, there is a higher risk of blood pooling across your head. This action will prolong your time drying the blood clot and potentially lead to more pain in the extracted area.
Apply Ice Pack
If pain and swelling worsen, you can apply an ice pack or a towel-wrapped ice cube across the affected area. It is an effective method that you can do to reduce any sign of swelling and pain. However, it is best to alternate between twenty minutes of application and twenty minutes off to avoid skin irritation.
Try Saline Rinses
Rinsing with saline mixture helps in killing bacteria present in your mouth, which can prevent further infections. You can prepare the saline mixture by adding a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water, then gently swishing it across the area where the extraction took place.
However, rinsing and gargling are only allowable when the blood clot has completely dried up and secured in its place. Therefore, as tempting as it may be, you should avoid saline rinses during the first ten days as the area may still be healing. Rinsing on a fresh wound heightens your risk of dislodging the blood clot formation and affects your recovery period.
Brush and Floss Regularly
As usual, do not forget to brush and floss regularly. This step helps maintain your oral hygiene and keeps bacteria and infection away. However, you should take good care and avoid getting near the extracted tooth.
A Word of Advice
Tooth extraction is the process of removing a problematic tooth to prevent further complications. Although recovering from this procedure can depend on several factors, simple extractions should heal within a few weeks.
The secret to a fast tooth extraction recovery is consistency. If you stick to your pain medication and rest schedule, you’ll be back to your everyday life before you know it. However, when tooth extraction pain becomes worse, it is best to get professional advice as soon as possible.