during the time period beginning 24 hours following your tooth
will provide you with a second set of aftercare instructions
for the time period beginning 24 hours after your tooth extraction.
Usually a dentist's instructions will include directions pertaining
to the topics found on this page.
any of the aftercare directions that are found here you should
print them out and show them to your dentist and ask them
if these instructions apply to your specific situation. Your
dentist may find reason to revise, add to, or delete from
these generalized instructions, depending on your specific
needs. In all cases, if you have a concern or feel you have
developed a complication associated with your tooth extraction
you should contact your dentist.
swelling that still exists 24 hours after the extraction.
caused by the trauma of the tooth extraction process should
reach its maximum after 24 to 48 hours. So to bring this swelling
down more quickly, apply a warm moist towel to the swollen
area for 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes of no application.
Repeat this cycle, as you find necessary.
the extraction site clean.
the cleaner you keep the extraction site (the hole in the
bone where the tooth has been removed, also referred to as
the tooth's socket) the quicker it will heal. Beginning 24
hours after your tooth extraction, you can gently rinse the
socket with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup
of water) after meals and before bed. Do not use commercial
mouth rinses. They may irritate the extraction site.
(resorbable and non-resorbable).
may have found it necessary to place sutures ("stitches")
in the extraction site after removing the tooth. Some types
of stitches are resorbable and therefore will dissolve away
on their own, others are not and will need to be removed by
your dentist. If stitches were placed, make sure you know
which type have been used. Usually a dentist will want to
remove stitches that don't resorb in about a week or so after
the extraction. The process of removing stitches is usually
very easy and quite painless.
One of the
more common complications people experience after a tooth
extraction is that of developing a "dry socket."
It is thought that dry sockets occur when either a blood clot
has failed to form in the tooth socket (the hole left after
extracting the tooth), or else the blood clot that did form
has been dislodged. Since the formation of a blood clot is
an important part of the healing process, the normal healing
of the extraction site is interrupted.
are most frequently associated with difficult tooth extractions
or extractions that have been traumatic in nature. An extraction
that has involved the removal of bone from around a tooth
in order for the dentist to access it, which is often the
case when lower impacted wisdom teeth are removed, would be
considered to be more traumatic in nature than an extraction
where this step was not required.
follow their dentist's post-extraction recommendations will
reduce their chances of developing a dry socket. Dry sockets
are found to occur more often with women (even more so with
those taking oral contraceptives), people over the age of
30, and smokers.
dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain which
doesn't appear until three or four days after the tooth extraction.
The pain can be moderate to severe in intensity and often
seems to radiate from the area of the extraction site to the
ear. Dry sockets typically create a foul odor or bad taste.
Visually, if you can see down into the socket, the extraction
site appears "dry," in the sense that you just see
exposed bone. There is no formation of pus.
need to be treated by your dentist. And don't be hesitant
to let them know that you need their help. Your dentist knows
that there is no way to predict who will develop a dry socket,
and if one occurs after your extraction they will be eager
to assist you.
In most cases
a dentist will place a medicated dressing into a dry socket
as a treatment. This will help to soothe and moderate the
pain. The dressing is usually removed and replaced every 24
hours until the dry socket's symptoms subside, which can,
in some cases, take some number of days.
sequestra and tooth fragments.
small fragments of dead bone (called a "sequestrum"
[singular] or "sequestra" [plural]) will come to
the surface of an extraction site as they are ejected by the
patient's body during the healing process. This is more likely
to occur in those cases where the tooth extraction has been
relatively difficult or traumatic.
same lines, if the tooth broke or splintered during the extraction
process you may find that small shards of tooth may come to
the surface of the extraction site, even some weeks after
the socket seems to have healed. You may be able to remove
the smallest of these splinters of bone or tooth on your own,
or you may find that you require, or want, your dentist's
assistance in removing them.
of the healing process.
after a tooth has been extracted there will be a hole left
in your jawbone where the tooth has been removed (the tooth's
socket). As time passes the shape of this hole will smooth
over and fill in with bone. While it can take many weeks and
months for this healing process to occur fully, from a practical
standpoint after 1 to 2 weeks enough healing will have occurred
that the extraction site should be of only minor inconvenience