Once you get your tooth extraction, you definitely want it to heal as fast as possible. By following a few good tips, you can decrease the amount of time it takes for your mouth to heal.
The initial 24 hours after tooth extraction
During this period of time you won’t be able to see actual healing, but what you will be able to notice is that the bleeding has stopped and that a clot has filled the empty socket. Moreover, the discomfort in the extraction site will start to go away. If the extraction was a little bit more complicated, the swelling around the extraction area and face may occur. It would reach its peak within 24 hours and then start to go away. Icing the area for the first hour after the surgery might help you with the swelling problem. What’s more, you might be able to feel tenderness or irregularities in the socket with your tongue.
12 hours after extraction, gum tissue will start to reattach and initiate growth at the edges of the wound.
24 hours after the extraction the tooth’s socket will start to revolve around the clot. The clot is composed of platelets, white and red blood cells and fibrin. So the platelets will begin to produce chemical factors, called mediators in order to start the healing process.
The healing process depends on the size of the wound. The bigger the wound is the longer it will take for you to heal. For example, if you had your wisdom tooth removal, the healing process might take longer than for someone who had a baby tooth or just a lower incisor extracted.
Time-off after the extraction
The time that you will need to take off will depend on how difficult the extraction process was for your case. Most patients usually just go home to recover after tooth extraction. It helps the anesthetic to distribute, so you wouldn’t feel numb anymore. Moreover, your bleeding will stop and come to an end.
If the extraction was regular and no difficulties arose, you might be able to go back to work or other non-strenuous activities the same day. But you should definitely consult with your dentist about what they recommend. If you have more aggressive activities in mind (for example, working out) you shouldn’t do it the same day or even next few days. If your extraction was more difficult and included sedation or general anesthesia, it would be wise to limit all type of activities for the next 24 hours of time after the surgery. All in all, you should follow your dentist recommendations, because it’s important for your safety and healing process.
There are some instructions that you will need to follow for the first 24 hours after the extraction. That minimizes the risk of postoperative complications.
- Try to keep the extraction area as clean as possible.
- Do everything you can to avoid the wound getting traumatized.
- If it is needed, irrigate the socket.
- Remove the stitches after a proper period of time.
First 24 hours after tooth extraction try not to eat hot foods or drinks, because it may initiate bleeding. It would also be a good idea to try chewing on the other side of your mouth for a couple of days in order to avoid the surgery area getting traumatized. You should also try eating softer foods. All in all, it is very important to stay hydrated and to eat nutritional foods. It will help you to recover and heal faster.
Brushing your teeth
During the first days after the surgery try to clean your teeth softly, be gentle and not too aggressive. For the first 3 days try not to brush the surgery area. It is needed to be done just to keep the stitches, tissues, and flaps in the place where they were positioned. Otherwise, it may initiate the bleeding very easily.
During the first 24 hours after the extraction try not to rinse your mouth in order to avoid disrupting the blood clot, which helps the tissues to heal faster. On the second day, you can gently rinse your mouth. The cleaner you keep the area, the faster the healing you can expect. Try to rinse it after each meal, snack and before the bed.
When the wound is large and deep, then food, debris, and other microorganisms tend to accumulate in the bottom which become, difficult to remove. Irrigation is a gentle way to flush the debris away which would help the healing process. Accumulated debris may also cause a bad taste or smell, so it’s important to remove it.
You should start irrigating several days after the healing process has started and continue to do so for at least 1-2 weeks as the bone healing initiates.
After the tooth removal, your dentist may place some stitches. There are two types of stitches: resorbable (which means that they will dissolve on their own) and traditional which will need to be removed by your dentist. Non-resorbable stitches need to be removed after 7-10 days after their placement. It is usually a painless and very easy procedure.
Healing after 1-2 weeks
During this period of time, you will notice that the surgery site has mostly repaired. Soft tissues most likely heal more rapidly compared with skin. It is usually said that gum tissues heal within 7-10 days, that’s why stitches are removed after 7-10 days.
If the socket is a smaller diameter, for example after single rooted teeth like incisors or baby teeth, it might heal in two weeks. Wider and deeper sockets for premolars and molars will take more time to heal.
During this period of time, the tooth’s socket will fill in with the blood clot, which will be replaced with granulation tissue. Granulation tissue forms because of mesenchymal cells organization. They specialize in different types of cells like bone tissue cells.
You should still be careful not to traumatize the surgery area because new tissues are vascularized and contain a lot of blood vessels, so it may start to bleed very easily. Moreover, the new tissue may feel more tender. But all in all, after this period of time the area around the extracted tooth should cause minimal concerns and you will be able to continue your routine activities.
Healing after 3-4 weeks
Most of the healing will already have been taken place. But you may still see the slight sag in your jaw, it might stay that way for several months. Speaking about the socket, many cells might already transform into bone cells, so the walls might feel thicker and bonier. Tissues might feel more tender than before. But traumas shouldn’t result in big amounts of bleeding.
Bone healing takes the biggest amount of time to heal. Even though the healing process starts after the first week of tooth extraction, it takes from 6 to 8 months for an empty tooth socket to completely fill in with bone tissue.
Replacement of missing tooth
Many patients are worried when they will be able to replace the missing tooth with a restoration. The fact that it takes 6-8 months for the bone to heal, doesn’t mean that you can’t get other restoration sooner.
It takes 1 month to wait till you will be eligible for restorations like partial dentures, dental bridges or some types of dental implants. Even though you need to wait 1 month in order to receive a permanent restoration, during this period of time you will be able to get some type of permanent tooth to be worn until the bone of your jaw is healed enough to support this permanent restoration.
If you experience prolonged bleeding, severe pain, dry socket, bruising and swelling, muscle or joint pain – try to see your dentist as soon as possible, just to make sure that you avoid complications.
If you are considering undergoing a tooth extraction procedure, or you have any questions, doubts, or concerns towards your condition, feel free to schedule your appointment with our specialists at Dr. Jeevan V. Ghatnekar, DDS: (949)538-3008.