Your tooth extraction can take approximately 20 minutes or longer if your infected tooth is impacted. After your tooth is pulled, a blood clot should form in the empty socket. Your dentist or oral surgeon will place a gauze into the socket to reduce the bleeding. Once your tooth is pulled, you need to avoid complications like bleeding, nerve damage and another infection. So it’s imperative that you follow procedures to ensure a positive and good recovery. You will begin to heal one to two weeks after your extraction or tooth surgery.
Perform preventive measures immediately after surgery. Rinse your mouth with a combination of 8 oz. of warm water and a 1/2 tsp. of salt after your tooth extraction. Make sure you rinse for one to two days to keep the area clean. Within the first 24 hours after your infected tooth is pulled, eat soft foods or a liquid diet. However, do not use a straw within the first 24 hours. In addition, make sure that food particles do not enter or pack the socket. You can pull the blood clot from the hole where your tooth was. Also, avoid activity for 24 hours after your tooth has been pulled.
Use ice and heat. Place an ice pack on the area to reduce any inflammation you have. Make sure you only apply the ice for approximately 10 minutes at a time. You may experience the inflammation for one to two days after your infected tooth extraction. Also, the bleeding can subside after the same amount of time.
After the inflammation disappears, your jaw may be stiff or sore. So use a warm compress to loosen the jaw.
Know the risks. If you a blood clot doesn’t form where your missing tooth is or it becomes dislodged, you are at risk for a dry socket. With a dry socket the underlying bone in your jaw is exposed to food and air. As a result, you can experience a bad taste in your mouth, pain or a bad odor. If this occurs you’ll have to be treated with medicated dressings to stop any pain you have. Your chances of an infection can increase if you have an unhealthy immune system.
Contact your oral surgeon or dentist if the inflammation becomes worse, you feel extreme pain in the area which can’t be controlled by the prescribed medication or if your bleeding continues after 24 hours. Or you should call your dentist or oral surgeon if new symptoms occur such as chills, fever or noticeable redness in the area, chest pain, nausea, cough, vomiting or shortness of breath.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not smoke or spit or use a straw. These actions can dislodge the blood clot and cause bleeding or a dry socket.