Having a tooth removed is a short, painless, clinical procedure carried out under local anaesthesia. After the tooth is extracted the area must be well looked after to speed healing and to reduce the risk of infection. Here are some pointers:
- For the first 24 hours, try to avoid eating hot food, don't smoke, don't drink any alcohol and try not to disturb any blood clot which might have formed.
- Don't rinse your mouth for 24 hours after extraction. After that, rinse the area gently with warm salty water after meals for a week - half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water is enough.
- Brush your teeth as normal to keep your mouth as clean as possible but go gently for the first day in order not to traumatise or disrupt the extraction site.
- You may experience some minor tenderness in the first two to three days. If required, you can take some ordinary painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to alleviate the symptoms
- If you feel pain a few days after the tooth has been removed, it might be where the blood clot has broken down leaving an empty hole in the gum. This is called a 'dry socket' and will need to be looked at by your dentist. Simply go back and the dentist will pack the wound to ease your discomfort.
- Your dentist may have given you some gauze to place onto the area where the tooth has been removed if post extraction bleeding occurs. Otherwise, you can use a clean cloth handkerchief (do not use paper tissues).
- Roll it into a small firm pad large enough to fit over the gap. Sit up and gently clear away any blood clots around the gap using the gauze or hanky.
- Put a clean pad over the gap (from tongue side to cheek side) and bite down on it or hold firmly in place for 15 minutes maintain a constant pressure
- Take the pad off and check whether the bleeding has stopped. If not, apply a fresh pad and contact your dentist