While dentists try to do everything they can to save a tooth, it isn't always possible. If a tooth has severe decay, sometimes the only solution is to pull it. A tooth extraction is a very routine procedure, but it is still important to take care of yourself properly afterward to ensure a speedy recovery. Here are some tips for recovering from a tooth extraction:
1. Take It Easy
After you get a tooth extraction, you will probably feel just fine. However, that does not mean you should do too many activities that day. If you overexert yourself, you could increase swelling and slow down the healing process. Avoid exercising and other strenuous activities for at least 24 hours.
When you lie down, keep your head elevated to keep the swelling down.
2. Use Ice Packs
It is normal to experience some swelling at the extraction site for a couple of days; this can feel a little uncomfortable and may distract you from doing your normal activities. One of the most effective ways to reduce swelling is to put an ice pack over your cheek several times a day for about 15 minutes each.
3. Be Careful About What You Eat
The extraction site may feel sore for several days, so it's best to stay away from solid foods. Try to only eat soft foods, like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soup, as they will be easier to chew.
4. Swish Salt Water Around in Your Mouth
It is a good idea to do a salt water rinse about 24 hours after the extraction. Doing so will decrease swelling and reduce the risk of infection. Just put a teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water and swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
5. Remember to Take Your Pain Medicine
If your dentist prescribed you pain medicine, you should remember to take it as directed. These painkillers will reduce swelling and pain at the injection site, helping you feel better. If your pain hasn't subsided within a couple of days, you should contact your dentist.
Recovering from a tooth extraction shouldn't be too much of a hassle. If you follow these tips, you should be able to make a full recovery within a couple of days and resume your normal activities. However, if you experience bleeding, vomiting, or other unpleasant symptoms, it is important to let your dentist know right away. To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Dental Studios of MacArthur.