Rancho Cucamonga tooth extractions, Dr Jin S Han

After extraction / surgery

 Here are general tips about care after extraction:

  • Activity
    Plan to rest for the remainder of the day after surgery. Limit strenuous physical activities. If you are a smoker, don't smoke for at least the first 24 hours after surgery, as doing this may disrupt the blood clot in the socket.
  • Diet
    Drink lots of clear liquids and eat only soft foods for the first 12 hours. If you had several teeth removed, stick to a diet of soft foods for the first few days. Don't use straws, as doing so can dislodge the clot that forms in the tooth socket. Avoid hard or crunchy foods, such as popcorn, for two weeks after surgery.
  • Pain management
    If your pain is severe you may need a prescription pain medication during the first few days after surgery. Or you may find that you can manage your pain with over-the-counter pain relievers. Applying ice packs - a bag of frozen peas or corn works nicely - also may help control pain, as well as swelling.
  • Bleeding
    Some oozing of blood is normal for the first day after removal of your impacted wisdom tooth. Swallow blood-tinged saliva instead of spitting it out, to avoid dislodging the socket clot. Get instructions from your dentist or surgeon about replacing the gauze packing. Remember that when blood mixes with saliva, the amount of blood loss can look worse than it actually is.
  • Swelling and bruising
    Swelling of your cheeks and jaw is normal after surgery. You can use ice packs to help control swelling. Swelling normally begins to subside by the third day. Some dentists give an injection of a steroid during the surgery to help minimize swelling. Swelling may make it a bit difficult to open your mouth fully, but this normally improves on its own. You may also have some bruising around your jaw or upper neck.
  • Cleaning your mouth
    The day after surgery, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water at least six times a day. Mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) of table salt in 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of water. Brush your teeth, but be very gentle in the area around your surgery.

Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a dental condition that occurs when the blood clot at the site of a tooth extraction is dislodged, exposing underlying bone and nerves and causing increasing pain.
It's the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. But with proper postoperative dental care and avoidance of risk factors, dry socket often can be prevented.

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing dry socket after a tooth extraction. These include:

  • Smoking and tobacco use
    Chemicals in cigarettes or other forms of tobacco may contaminate the wound site. In addition, the act of sucking on a cigarette may physically dislodge the blood clot prematurely.
  • Taking oral contraceptives
    High levels of estrogen can greatly increase the risk of dry socket by dissolving the blood clot.
  • Not following post-extraction guidelines.
    If after oral surgery you don't follow instrctions, such as avoiding certain foods or caring for your wound properly, your risk of dry socket increases.
  • You've had dry socket in the past
    Having dry socket once means you're more likely to develop it again.
  • Tooth or gum infection
    Current or previous infections around the tooth to be extracted increase the risk of dry socket.

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