Tooth extraction is a procedure of tooth removal. Many people undergo this procedure for various reasons. The tooth may be defective, damaged, decayed, paining, infected etc. Let the reason be anything for tooth extraction but there are some things to be followed after extraction and some things are there which should never be done at any circumstance1. The Do’s support healing process and the don’ts increase the risk of either bleeding or lead to some other health issue. Here are a few do’s and don’ts after tooth Extraction.
Do’s After Tooth Extraction
- Keep gauze in the bleeding area of the gum and apply pressure. Pressure prevents oozing out of blood from the wound2.
- Gauze should be replaced after it becomes completely wet with blood.
- Enough rest should be taken to the gum.
- Ice packs should be kept. Gauze is wrapped around ice cubes and kept over the incision area. This helps to decrease the swelling as well.
- Rinsing with saline water is encouraged after 12 hours of extraction. This saline water would be isotonic with the fluid of the body. Hence, instead of using plain water for rinsing, saline water is preferred. Make the saline water warm and rinse the mouth. Saline water cleanses the site of tooth extraction and also maintains the hygiene.
- Soft foods and liquids are preferred to solids after tooth extraction. It can be fruit juices, soups, yogurts, smoothies, mashed potatoes and milkshakes.
- Medicines like antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are to be taken as prescribed by the dentist3.
Don’ts after Tooth Extraction
- Exercises should not be done for first few hours which results in increasing the circulation of blood to the cut area and increases bleeding4.
- Doing any activity involving bending head forward should be avoided at least for 24 hours4.
- Gauze is not to be chewed which amounts to exercising of the area and increasing the chances of bleeding.
- Rinsing the mouth should strictly be avoided immediately after tooth extraction.
- Eating solids as soon as the tooth is removed is to be avoided.
- Smoking should be avoided at least for 2 days after tooth extraction. A problem called as dry socket can be caused because of smoking and even the chemicals present in the smoke impart their influence on clotting of blood.
- Avoid self medication.
- Skipping of taking medicines slows down the healing process.
- Aspirin should be strictly avoided. It thins the blood and affects clotting.
- Any kind of sucking is to be avoided.
- Drinking hot beverages and soups increases the circulation of blood to the area and increases bleeding. Hence any hot beverages should be avoided4.
- Poking into the socket created after extraction either delays healing or increases bleeding4 forming a new wound on the older one. Hence such activities are to be avoided.
- Spitting frequently just after the procedure prevents clotting of blood. So do not spit till 24 hours.
- Tobacco and its produces decrease the rate of healing and also can bring many complications. Hence, tobacco chewing must be stopped at least for a week.
- Brushing of teeth is not encouraged at least for 24 hours.
Some problems with tooth removal such as bleeding, swelling and bruising are very common. In case, if all these occur beyond the limit, the health professional should be contacted immediately. Following the instructions given by the dentist is a must. One can get back to the normal functions after a day of the procedure. Eating solid foods can be started after a week. Light exercises can be performed which do not give more pressure on the head region but strenuous exercises should be postponed to 3rd week.
- Mitchell, Laura (2009). Oxford handbook of clinical dentistry. Mitchell, David A., McCaul, Lorna. (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199553303.
- Hollins, Carole (2008). Levison’s Textbook for Dental Nurses. ISBN 978-1-4051-7557-9
- Lodi, G (Nov 2012). “Antibiotics to prevent complications following tooth extractions”. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 11: CD003811.
- Kumbargere Nagraj, Sumanth; Prashanti, Eachempati; Aggarwal, Himanshi; Lingappa, Ashok; Muthu, Murugan S.; Kiran Kumar Krishanappa, Salian; Hassan, Haszelini (2018-03-04), “Interventions for treating post‐extraction bleeding”, The Cochrane Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 3, pp.