5 Tips to Help Ensure a Speedy and Comfortable Post-Extraction Recovery
5 Tips to Help Ensure a Speedy and Comfortable Post-Extraction Recovery

5 Tips to Help Ensure a Speedy and Comfortable Post-Extraction Recovery

Getting a tooth extraction is a big deal.

It’s easy to minimize how serious an extraction is because they’re so common and because everyone loses a full set of baby teeth by the time we’re in our teens.

However, the fact of the matter is that tooth extractions – like all surgical procedures – are a form of trauma to the body. And when your body undergoes a traumatic experience, it needs time to heal and recover.

In the meantime, though, what can you do to stay comfortable after an oral surgery procedure like a tooth extraction? Your Whittier dentist has some tips that can help!

What Steps Can You Take to Stay Comfortable After a Tooth Extraction in Whittier?

Make sure to set yourself up for success. Before your dental procedure, make plans for at least a day off work. At the very least, you shouldn’t go back to work the same day you have an extraction. As was mentioned, tooth extractions and other types of oral surgery are a form of trauma, so your body needs some time to recover.

Besides taking some time to heal from your procedure, it would be good to stock up on provisions. Have soft foods on-hand, so you don’t need to go shopping after your procedure.

You can also take the following steps to reduce your discomfort after a tooth extraction in Whittier.

1. Use Ice

When your body experiences trauma, it causes an inflammatory reaction. Inflammation is a defense mechanism of your immune system. It destroys pathogens like bacteria and viruses that can cause harm. Inflammation is one of the first signs of your body trying to heal after trauma.

While we appreciate what the body is trying to do, inflammation can cause quite a bit of discomfort. Thankfully, ice packs can help reduce inflammation, calm the pain, and decrease any swelling associated with the trauma.

The first 24-48 hours is when the inflammation will be the greatest. Throughout the day, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes and remove it for at least 10 minutes before reapplying.

You can find soft ice/gel packs online or at your local drug store, pharmacy, chiropractor, or doctor’s office. If you can’t purchase an ice pack, you can wrap a sandwich bag with ice or a bag of frozen corn or peas in a light towel and use that instead.

2. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Since your body is busy responding to the aftermath of your extraction, your immune system might not be able to fight other attacks on it. It isn’t uncommon for people to come down with something after a surgical procedure because their body isn’t able to attack the offending pathogens.

There’s nothing worse than trying to recover from a dental procedure and coming down with a cold or flu. Make sure you have plenty of fluids in your house – water is obviously the best choice, but you can also drink tea, juice, and drinks high in electrolytes.

If you drink anything with sugar, make sure to brush your teeth to prevent decay. Also, avoid drinking through a straw as the suction action can cause a post-extraction condition called dry socket.

3. Thoroughly Clean Your Mouth Daily

Bringing dental tools anywhere near your mouth seems counterintuitive when you’re in pain. It is crucial, though, to keep your teeth, gums, and other soft tissues clean. A build-up of bacteria anywhere near the extraction site can lead to an infection, which will cause more discomfort.

Follow your Whittier dentist’s post-op instructions regarding dental home care. They will know your needs best, so they can prescribe the best instructions. Some essential post-op home care tips include:

Ask your dentist what type of mouth rinse to use once you’re okayed to start rinsing your mouth. In cases of severe periodontal disease, your dentist might recommend a prescription-strength mouth rinse to help with the healing process and reduce bacterial build-up.

If you have immediate dentures, you’ll need to wear them for at least 24 hours. After that point, remove the dentures at night, clean them with a denture brush and cleaner, and soak them in a denture disinfecting solution.

4. Stick to Soft Foods

If you’ve had multiple extractions, a bad dental infection, a surgical extraction, or a dental implant placed, it isn’t uncommon to experience a level of swelling that restricts your ability to open your mouth fully.Some people even experience this kind of swelling after a simple, single-tooth extraction. This is why your Whittier dentist recommends eating soft foods during the recovery period.

Some soft food options include:

5. Take Care of Your Emotional Health

Trauma doesn’t just impact us physically – it can affect us emotionally as well. The physical trauma of the procedure, any anxiety or fear experienced throughout the process, and post-operative pain can all take a toll on our mental and emotional health.

And when we’re feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, etc., any physical pain we experience can be exacerbated.

Make sure to take time for yourself while you’re healing to get extra sleep and do things you enjoy. Spending time outside in the fresh air and sunshine can help you heal physically and mentally. In fact, multiple studies show that a practice called earthing/grounding can reduce inflammation and pain.

Contact Your Whittier Dentist If Your Pain Gets Worse

It’s normal to experience some discomfort after a dental extraction. However, the pain should start to (slowly but surely) dissipate after a few days.

If your pain level remains the same, gets worse, or is accompanied by a foul odor or taste, contact your Whittier dentist immediately. These symptoms are signs of an infection, something we want to address right away to reduce your pain and protect your oral and general health.

Don’t ever worry that you’re being bothersome or “making a mountain out of a molehill.” If you’re experiencing pain, we want to know about it. Contact us to discuss your symptoms and schedule an examination with your Whittier dentist.

Are you experiencing post-extraction dental pain? We want to know about it! Contact our team right away at 562-414-5025 to schedule an evaluation.