Extraction is a painless process to remove a tooth which is damaged beyond repair, either from decay or injury.
Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime there may arise a situation where tooth extraction may be required. Some of the reasons are:
- Tooth badly damaged by trauma or decay
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease
- Risk of infection. If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant), even a slight risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull out the tooth.
- Crowded teeth
Recovery from a tooth extraction typically takes a couple of days. The following procedures can help you minimize discomfort and speed recovery.
- Take the prescribed painkillers.
- Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad placed by your dentist to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket. Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood. Otherwise, leave the pad in place for three to four hours after the extraction.
- Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time.
- Relax for at least 48 hours after the extraction. Have limited activity for the next two days.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and warm water.
- Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol.
- Eat soft foods, such as soup, pudding, yoghurt, or applesauce the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.
- When lying down, prop your head with pillows. Lying flat may prolong bleeding.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but be sure to avoid the extraction site. Doing so will help prevent infection.