Preventing complications after a tooth extraction

Posted on: 29 October 2015

Tooth extraction is a very common practice in general dentistry. It's performed to create more space in your mouth if your teeth are at risk of being deformed, to remove dead teeth, or to remove wisdom teeth that aren't growing as they're supposed to, among other things. Although it is a very straightforward and relatively harmless procedure, there is a risk of infection. It's very important that you behave in a manner that allows the wound in your mouth to heal properly after having a tooth extracted.

Possible complications

 Directly after the procedure, the dentist will place a gauze pad in your mouth. This should be removed a couple of hours after the procedure, but you should change it if it becomes soaked with blood.  You'll need to take a few precautions the days following the procedure. The most common complication following a tooth extraction is that the blood clot in the wound comes loose, leading to a condition called dry socket. This can be painful, and if it happens, you should contact your dentist immediately. To prevent it from happening, you should be cautious about what you do with your mouth until the wound has healed. Spitting, for example, causes you to apply unnecessary force to your mouth, which could cause the blood clot to come loose. For this same reason, you should also avoid sucking on straws until the wound has healed.

Normal symptoms after tooth extraction

It's normal to feel a little bit of pain in the days following the procedure. You could feel a sense of tension in your jaw or discomfort when opening your mouth. This is usually because the mouth had to be opened wide for so long to get the tooth extracted. It's also quite common to have a mild fever after the procedure. If you have these symptoms, you can take prescription free painkillers to ease the discomfort. However, if any of these, or other symptoms, don't go away after a couple of days, you should contact your dentist.

Think about your hygiene

Remember to continue as usual with maintaining your dental hygiene. When brushing your teeth, try to avoid the area around the wound. Also be careful when rinsing to not disturb the blood clot in the wound. Try to avoid alcohol and sugar for the days following the procedure, as ingesting this might increase the risk for infection. You should avoid smoking at all costs, since smoking is one of the most common reasons for dry socket. You should abstain from smoking until at least three days after the tooth extraction.

For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Complete Dental Care

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