Dental Tips Blog


Recovery After Your Dental Extraction

Dental extractions are an everyday procedure that helps patients eliminate pain, disease, and infection. Most of the time, patients are concerned leading up to the procedure and how their dentist will manage to keep them comfortable during the appointment. You’ll find that your dentist will have implemented various ways to alleviate discomfort and anxiety, and that teeth extractions are much simpler than you thought! In many cases, extractions can be very short procedures to complete.

What comes next, after your procedure is over? You’ll want to take various steps to prevent infection and discomfort during your recovery. In most cases, you will need to have a gauze compress against the area for the first hour, until bleeding stops. For the first 24 hours it is important not to smoke, drink through straws, or drink carbonated beverages. Doing any of these things can interfere with cloth formation at the extraction site, causing a complication known as “dry socket.” Dry sockets are very uncomfortable, and can take up to 2 weeks for a patient to recover from. Instead, eat soft foods like pudding, gelatin, warm (not hot) soup, or ice cream.

A warm and cold compress may be alternated on the side of the face, near the extraction site. This limits any swelling that may occur after the procedure. Your dentist may also recommend that you take ibuprophen or even prescribe a pain reliever for you to take for a few days. Sometimes sutures may be needed. If so, your dentist will provide you with written home care instructions about how to manage the suture site until you return to have them removed.

Should you experience severe discomfort, prolonged bleeding, or signs of infection, please contact your dentist immediately.

Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental



What Is Dry Socket?

If you recently had a tooth extraction, your dentist probably told you to call the office if you developed pain that could not be managed with over the counter products like Tylenol.  This may be a sign of a painful condition called ‘dry socket’.

Dry socket happens infrequently, but when it does, it is very painful. Signs of dry socket include an intense, throbbing pain at or near the incision site where the tooth was removed.  People sometimes say that when they walk it feels like their jaw is being moved painfully, and others report that lying on that side of the mouth is painful and causes them to wake up at night.

Dry socket happens when the tiny blood clot that formed in the area where the tooth was removed is dislodged (perhaps with brushing, flossing or even excessive swallowing or spitting), and the bone and nerves are then exposed.  The exposure of the nerves is what causes the sudden and severe pain.  This tends to happen more frequently in those with diabetes and those who smoke.

Dry socket is easily treated once identified.  Contact your dentist if you have these symptoms.  Several options are available for treatment, and may include placing a small medicated dressing in the socket that you change on a regular basis, seeing your dentist regularly for evaluation and follow up, providing some anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain, and providing an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to help avoid infection.  If you do smoke, try to avoid smoking during this time as this will delay healing.

If you are experiencing mouth pain after an extraction, contact your dentist immediately for evaluation.

Posted on the behalf of Douglasville Dental Associates


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