Having a tooth pulled is a relatively simple procedure for dentists and oral surgeons, but there are some serious complications that can occur post-extraction. There are many reasons for having one pulled, be it a stubborn baby tooth or an infection due to wisom teeth. Many people are nervous about the procedure itself, but the after effects are the part one should pay careful attention to. It is vital that one take the utmost care of the sensitive area after the tooth is extracted.
An extraction will assuredly result in bleeding and oozing. It will continue to do so for at least a day or two. One mistake many patients make is trying to rinse their mouth out after the tooth is pulled. This will do nothing for the patient’s healing and instead may result in prolonging the pain and bleeding. A blood clot must form in the extraction’s wound so that it will close and heal.
Should the blood clot in the extraction area become dislodged, a serious condition known as “dry socket” occurs. Without further treatment, dry socket can lead to a very severe infection. This condition is extremely painful and is sometimes unavoidable. Most of the time, however, dry socket occurs because the patient did not take proper care of his/her mouth post-extraction. One is not to spit, suck, or smoke until the area has healed.
It is expected for the patient’s mouth to become swollen after a tooth is pulled, sometimes the entire cheek will be twice its normal size. A cold pack put on the face for twenty minutes at a time will help the swelling and the doctor should be able to provide a timeline as to when the swelling should subside. It is not normal, however, for swelling to last longer than indicated by one’s doctor. If it does, then the physician should be contacted, as an infection may have occurred.
Although minor in many respects, a tooth extraction is considered surgery and is often taken seriously because of the pain involved. A toothache can bring the toughest of people to their knees. Proper care of an extraction site, however, will prevent any further complications and pain from occurring. It is best to take it easy for the next day or two after having a tooth removed and as always, call one’s physician should anything out of the ordinary arise.