What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Waiting a Little Bit

1. Having pain is a normal part of the recovery process. Keep in mind that pain is part of the healing process and your body’s normal reaction to the surgery. Once a tooth has been fully removed it takes anywhere from 2 to 3 days to over a week for the initial pain to subside. Make sure to take your medications as prescribed and follow the instructions to heal as quickly as possible. The level of pain after the surgery typically correlates with the complexity of the procedure. The simpler extractions heal within 2 to 3 days whereas the more complicated ones as well as wisdom teeth usually require a week or so before you start seeing improvements.

2. Once the tooth is removed properly there is not much more that your dentist or oral surgeon can do for it. An ideal extraction is when your dentist removes the tooth within a few minutes. The surgeries that end up taking longer than fifteen minutes will typically require bone removal and lots of cutting so it will hurt more afterwards. If you lose a lot of bone the dentist or oral surgeon may choose to place some bone graft to assist with the healing process and to preserve the extraction socket better. The dentist may also use sutures to bring your gum tissue together to allow for a better healing process.

Oftentimes patients who have their four wisdom teeth removed all at once return within just a day or two to re-evaluate the area but can’t even open their mouths wide enough for the dentist to see back there since their jaws are still sore. Not much your dentist can do for you if he or she can’t see the surgery site. It is best to give it some time for the initial swelling to subside before going back to the dentist or oral surgeon so he or she can thoroughly evaluate you.

3. Wisdom removals and dry sockets can lead to pain which will last for several weeks. It is very important to avoid spitting for the first day after the tooth has been removed. Applying pressure by biting on gauze is a good way to get the bleeding under control. Keep in mind that the most crucial part of the healing occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours so you must be very careful to follow the instructions and allow for proper healing to occur in this critical period.

  • Smokers and those with a long list of medical problems generally heal slower than healthier patients
  • You will also heal slower as you age so expect the recovery to take a bit longer

If you spit and don’t follow the instructions then you’re not allowing the blood clot to form and you could end up with what’s known as a dry socket. It basically means poor healing and you will suffer for a few weeks. There is not much to be done for dry sockets, there is a solution that your dentist can apply which helps a little bit, but otherwise it needs to be managed with painkillers and takes a few weeks to resolve. No additional antibiotic is indicated as a dry socket is not an infection but is simply poor healing. And of course when it comes to removing wisdom teeth, especially when the teeth are embedded under your gums or jaw bone, then assume it will hurt for one week and anything less than that is a bonus!

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What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Tooth Extraction: Going to the Dentist

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