A tooth extraction is a common type of oral surgery that may be performed to prevent pain or infection. You may also need to have a tooth removed for other reasons.
Sometimes there’s not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to come in properly. While your dentist will do everything possible to promote healing, it is important to carefully follow their home care instructions. As your extraction site heals, it is important to make sure that you do not do any of the following.
Don’ts of Tooth Extraction
Drink from a Straw
Anything that causes you to purse your lips and inhale can cause the clot to dislodge from the tooth extraction site. This means that you will need to avoid drinking from straws for at least twenty-four hours. However, your dentist may recommend avoiding them for longer. In addition to straws, you will want to avoid anything else that requires sucking such as lollipops or sports bottle spouts.
Smoke Before or After Your Extraction
Smoking is one of the worst things that you can do for your oral health. It is especially bad to smoke after a tooth extraction. This is because smoking requires you to do the same sucking action as drinking from a straw. It also reduces blood flow to your gums. which slows down the healing process. People who choose to smoke following oral surgery risk getting dry socket or dealing with an infection. If possible, try to stop smoking two weeks before your surgery to promote better healing and avoid additional discomfort.
Poke at the Extraction Site
Depending upon your extraction, you may have a small hole left where the tooth was removed, or your dentist may use small stitches to close the gap. Either way, it is important to leave this area alone. Avoid poking it with your tongue or other objects. If food gets in the hole, your dentist can show you how to use a special rinse to get it out. This will be helpful so that you do not irritate the delicate gum tissues as they heal.
Stop Taking Your Medication
Most people begin to feel better within the first day or two after their tooth is removed. However, you must not let that stop you from taking any of your prescribed medications on time. Your dentist may give you antibiotics to help heal or prevent infection. You may be given pain medication with anti-inflammatory properties. Take these medications as prescribed to bring down swelling and avoid having to go back because of an infection.
At some point, most people require having a tooth extracted, and it is common to be a little nervous about the procedure. Fortunately, dentists are used to removing teeth, and there are many things that you can do to help your body heal. By avoiding these important risk factors for infection and dry socket, you can feel confident that you have done your part to heal properly after your oral surgery.