For most patients, tooth extraction recovery is smooth and problem-free. However, that knowledge may not stop you from worrying about how you’ll manage your pain while you’re healing.
Rest assured, your oral surgeon will do everything possible to set the stage for an easy recovery with minimal discomfort. But if you do experience any pain after tooth extraction, these tips will help you keep it under control.
Take Your Medicine Like Clockwork
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are typically recommended for post-surgical discomfort. Be sure to take them on schedule for the first few days, as advised by your oral surgeon. If you forget to take your medication, your pain could spike.
Apply Ice to Your Cheek
Ice helps manage swelling during tooth extraction recovery, and it also works to help keep pain in check. For the first two days following your oral surgery, apply ice to your cheek — 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off — to minimize discomfort as you heal.
Get Plenty of Rest
For at least the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction, relax and take it easy. Keep your head propped up with pillows and don’t overexert yourself. And don’t even think about exercising, playing sports or doing any heavy lifting for at least three days.
Rinse with Salt Water the Next Day
You need to keep your mouth clean, but you don’t want to brush around the extraction site until the area has healed. The day after your tooth extraction, you can rinse gently with warm salt water up to four times per day to keep the socket clean. But spit the water out carefully so you don’t dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site. For many patients, rinsing helps with pain relief.
Be Careful Eating and Drinking
For the first day or two during the tooth extraction recovery period, you’ll need to stick to liquids and soft foods. Avoid anything hot, and don’t drink through a straw for at least 24 hours. When you’re ready to try more solid foods, chew on the opposite side of the extraction site until you’ve healed.
When Should You Call Your Oral Surgeon?
It’s entirely normal to feel some discomfort after you get home and your anesthesia wears off. That said, you should call your oral surgeon if your pain is severe several hours after your tooth extraction, or if you are unable to effectively manage your pain.
In addition, seek immediate attention if you notice increased pain at the extraction site that is accompanied by bad breath, abnormal gum swelling, bleeding at the socket, fever or other unusual symptoms. You could have dry socket, or you might be suffering from an infection.
When the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah perform your tooth extraction, you’ll be given specific aftercare instructions for a comfortable recovery. Follow our advice, and you’ll be much less likely to suffer any post-surgical complications.
We can ease your concerns about managing pain after a tooth extraction. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today and schedule a consultation for more information on tooth extraction and recovery.