Dr. Murdoch may determine it is necessary to extract your tooth. There are a number of reasons why a tooth might need to be extracted. Some of them could be that your teeth are severely decayed, you may have advanced periodontal disease, your tooth has broken in a way that it cannot be repaired, or in preparation for the orthodontic treatment. Still other teeth may need to be removed because they are not positioned correctly in your mouth. Before Dr. Murdoch extracts a tooth, he will explain to your the reason it needs to be pulled and discuss your options with you. In addition, he may prepare an individualized treatment plan for you. If you have questions, be sure to discuss them with Dr. Murdoch before the extraction(s).
Home Care After Extraction
- Bleeding: It is normal for some bleeding to occur after your extraction. Keeping a piece of gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly on it for 45 minutes will help control the amount of blood loss.
- Blood clots that form in the empty socket: This is a crucial part of the healing process and you need to be careful not to dislodge the blood clot. When a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth was extracted or the clot becomes dislodged, the healing process is significantly delayed. It is important to avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction. Also, avoid using a straw, smoking or consuming hot liquids.
- Swelling: If swelling occurs, you can place an ice pack on your face for 10 minutes. Then remove it for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours. This will help bring the swelling down.
- Pain and Medications: If you experience pain, you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- Eating: Try to chew your food in an area away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
- Brushing and Cleaning: For the first day after the extraction, avoid brushing the area near the extraction. After that, you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, because they have a tendency to irritate the extraction site. 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed. This will help keep the swelling at a minimum.
- Dry Socket: Dry sockets occur when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where your tooth has been extracted or the blood clot becomes dislodged. If this occurs, the healing process is delayed significantly. Following the after extraction home care instructions will reduce the chances of developing a dry socket. Symptoms of a dry socket are a dull throbbing pain, which usually doesn’t appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain varies from moderate to severe, and radiates from the extraction area. Dry sockets may cause a bad taste or bad breath. If you have a dry socket, Dr. Murdoch will apply a medicated pack that will help soothe the pain.
- Healing: After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. After a few weeks, you should no longer notice any inconvenience.