If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction, you’re probably wondering how long you should rest before getting back to your normal routine. The length of recovery time after tooth extraction can vary depending on the type of extraction, age, and overall health.
In this article, we’ll explore how long you should rest after tooth extractions, common reasons why extractions are performed, and provide some tips for a smooth recovery.
Common Reasons Why a Tooth Is Extracted
There are several reasons why a tooth is needed to be extracted. Here are some common reasons for tooth extractions:
Decay: If a tooth is too decayed or damaged, it may need to be extracted to prevent the spread of decay to other teeth.
Crowding: If there is not enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth, a tooth may need to be extracted to make room for the others. This is usually done for orthodontic treatment.
Infection: If a tooth is infected and is beyond repair, it will be extracted to prevent the spread of infection to other teeth and to preserve the overall health of the mouth.
Impacted Teeth: If a tooth is not able to fully erupt from the gums, it is considered impacted. Impacted teeth can cause pain and infection, damaging other teeth, so they may need to be extracted.
Wisdom Teeth: Third molars, commonly called wisdom teeth, are often extracted because they can cause problems if they don’t have enough room to emerge from the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can also damage other teeth, resulting in pain and infection.
Periodontal Disease: If a tooth is severely damaged by periodontal (gum) disease, it may need to be extracted to prevent the spread of infection and preserve the overall health of the mouth.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Depending on your tooth’s condition and the reason for extraction, there are two ways how your dental care provider will perform the extraction.
- Simple Extraction
Simple extractions involve removing a tooth that is visible above the gum line. These extractions are typically less complex and less painful than surgical extractions. The dental professional will numb the area around the tooth, then use specialized tools to loosen the tooth and remove it from the mouth.
- Surgical Extraction
Surgical extractions involve removing a tooth that is not fully erupted or requires cutting through the gum tissue. These extractions are typically more complex and can be more painful than simple extractions. The dental professional will numb the area around the tooth and may make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth. They may also need to remove bone or other tissue to fully extract the tooth.
How Long You Should Rest After Tooth Extractions
it’s important to understand that the healing process after tooth extraction can vary from person to person. Factors that can influence the length of recovery time include the type of extraction (simple vs. surgical), your age, and overall health. That being said, there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to resting after tooth extractions.
For Simple Tooth Extractions:
For simple extractions, you can expect to rest for the remainder of the day of the procedure. Recovery time for simple extractions typically takes about one to two weeks, but you can usually resume your regular activities within 24 hours.
It’s important to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity, as this can increase bleeding and prolong the healing process. You may experience some discomfort and swelling, but over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate these symptoms.
For Surgical Extractions:
If you have undergone a surgical extraction, you may need to rest for a longer period of time. Recovery time for surgical extractions typically takes about two to four weeks, with a minimum of 3-4 days of rest required. Your dental team will provide specific instructions for post-procedure care, including how long you should rest and when to take your pain medication.
Regardless of the type of extraction you have had, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-procedure care. This may include taking prescribed medications, using ice packs to reduce swelling, and avoiding certain activities or foods that could disrupt the healing process.
How Soon Can You Return to Work after Multiple Tooth Extractions
The amount of time you need to take off work after having multiple tooth extractions will depend on the specifics of your procedure and your individual recovery. In general, it is common to take at least two to three days off work to allow time for the extraction sites to heal and to manage any discomfort or swelling. However, it could be longer for some individuals, depending on their body’s healing abilities.
Things to Avoid After Tooth Extractions
After a tooth extraction, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided by your dental professional for post-procedure care. This may include avoiding certain activities and foods that could disrupt the healing process. Here are some things to avoid after tooth extractions:
- Strenuous Activity: It is important to take it easy after tooth extraction and avoid strenuous activities that could increase your heart rate and blood pressure. This includes activities like heavy lifting, running, and intense exercise.
- Smoking: Smoking can delay the healing process after tooth extraction. The sucking motion and heat from smoking can displace the blood clot at the extraction site, leading to a dry socket. A dry socket is an excruciating condition that occurs when the blood clot becomes dislodged or does not form properly, exposing the bone underneath.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of bleeding and infection after tooth extraction. It is best to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours following the procedure.
- Spitting or Rinsing Forcefully: Spitting or rinsing forcefully can cause the newly-formed blood clot at the extraction site to be displaced, which may result in pain and bleeding. It is important to gently rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to keep the extraction site clean, but avoid spitting or rinsing forcefully.
- Hard, Crunchy, or Sticky Foods: Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods can irritate the extraction site and delay the healing process. It’s best to stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods like soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies for the first few days after the procedure.
- Using a Straw: Sucking through a straw can also cause the blood clot to be dislodged. It’s recommended to avoid using a straw for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Oral Hygiene: It is important to continue practicing good oral hygiene after tooth extraction. However, be sure to avoid brushing or brushing with toothpaste for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Instead, gently rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to keep the extraction site clean.
How Soon Can I Use Mouthwash After Tooth Extractions?
It is generally recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours after a tooth extraction before using mouthwash. This is because mouthwash can irritate the extraction site and dislodge the blood clot. Using a warm saltwater solution for the first hours after your extraction is recommended to keep the inside of your mouth clean.
What to Eat After Tooth Extractions
In the first few days after the tooth extraction procedure, it is important to eat soft, easy-to-chew foods that do not require a lot of biting or chewing. Here are some good soft foods to eat after tooth extractions:
- Soup (clear broth or pureed vegetables)
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
- Scrambled eggs
- Cooked or canned vegetables (pureed or soft)
- Cooked or canned fruits (pureed or soft)
Avoid drinking through a straw, as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot. Also, avoid hot liquids and alcohol for the first 24 hours after the extraction. As you heal, you can gradually add more solid foods to your diet, but continue avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods until the extraction site has fully healed.
If you have questions about what to eat after a tooth extraction, you must consult your dentist or oral surgeon. They will be able to provide specific recommendations based on your individual situation.
How Long Does the Mouth Bleed After Tooth Extractions?
It is normal to experience some bleeding after a tooth extraction, but the amount of bleeding can vary from person to person. The bleeding should generally be light and stop within a few hours after the extraction. However, it is common for the bleeding to continue for up to 24 hours after the extraction.
If the bleeding does not stop or if it becomes heavy, it is important to contact your dentist. They may recommend biting down on a gauze pad or using a cold compress to help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is still not controlled, your dentist may need to take additional steps to stop the bleeding.
How long it will take for gums to heal after tooth extractions and grafting also depends on the procedure. Generally, it can take 7-10 days for gums to heal after tooth extraction and one to two weeks for gums to heal after a gum graft. Following your dentist’s instructions for healing and practicing good oral hygiene during the healing period is important.
If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction in Bradenton and are in need of urgent dental care following a tooth extraction, Parkwood Dental is here to help. We accept emergency patients for same-day treatments.
How Long After Tooth Extractions will My Dentures Feel Comfortable?
It is common to experience some discomfort after having tooth extractions, especially when wearing dentures. The discomfort should generally improve within a few days after the extractions.
In the first few days after the extractions, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for the extraction sites and managing any discomfort. This may include taking prescribed medications, avoiding strenuous activity, and avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. You may also need to rest and avoid any activities that could cause bleeding or disrupt the blood clot that has formed in the extraction sites.
After the first few days, the discomfort should start to improve. However, it may take a few weeks for the extraction sites to heal completely and for the dentures to feel comfortable. It is important to be patient and allow time for the healing process to occur.
Infections after Tooth Extractions
It’s possible to develop an infection after a tooth extraction, although this is not common. Symptoms of an infection after tooth extraction may include:
- Pain that does not go away or that gets worse over time
- Swelling in the face or neck
- Redness or warmth in the area of the extraction
- Pus or drainage from the extraction site
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Nausea or vomiting
It’s essential to call your dentist right away if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after an extraction procedure. An infection can delay the healing process and may require treatment with antibiotics. That’s why you must follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for the extraction site.
Care Tips after Tooth Extractions
Proper care after tooth extractions are crucial for a successful recovery. Here are some tips to help you care for the extraction site:
- Rest: Take it easy and rest for the first 24 hours after the extraction. Avoid strenuous activity and any activities that could cause bleeding or disrupt the blood clot that has formed in the extraction site.
- Bite on a gauze pad: To help stop any bleeding, your dentist may have given you a gauze pad to bite on. Keep biting on the gauze pad for about 30 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
- Use a cold compress: To help reduce swelling, apply a cold compress to the cheek or lip near the extraction site for the first 24 hours. Avoid placing the cold compress directly on the extraction site.
- Take prescribed medications: If your dentist has prescribed medications for you, take them as directed.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can delay the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Avoid smoking for at least 72 hours after the extraction procedure.
- Eat soft, easy-to-chew foods: In the first few days after the extraction, eat soft, easy-to-chew foods that do not require a lot of biting or chewing. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods until the extraction site has fully healed.
- Practice good oral hygiene: Gently brush your teeth, being careful to avoid the extraction site. You can resume flossing once the extraction site has fully healed.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions: If your dentist has given you specific instructions for caring for the extraction site, follow them closely. Don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns about the healing process.
Tooth extraction can be a daunting experience, but following your dentist’s instructions for healing and taking care of the extraction site will help ensure that you have a successful recovery.