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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.