Tooth Extraction

1Sometimes teeth need to be removed due to decay, disease or truma. Having a tooth removed or "pulled" is called a tooth extraction. When you have an extraction, it's natural that changes will occur in your mouth afterward. Dr. Clark at Springwoods Village Dental will give you instructions to follow after the extraction, and it's important to discuss any questions or problems you have. Here are some general guidelines to help promote healing, prevent complications, and make you more confortable.

What are Tooth Extractions?

  • Dr. Clark will always try to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible.
  • But under certain conditions, that may not be possible.
  • If tooth decay has gone untreated for a long time, it may have destroyeed too much of the structure.
  • Severe gum disease can also cause too much tissue damage and a tooth extraction may be the best option.
  • Watch this video for more information and other reasons why a tooth extraction may be your best option.
  • Then, make your appointment with Springwoods Village Dental Group to stop your pain and save your smile today!

1Anesthetics After a Tooth Extraction

Before the extraction, you will be given an anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. Your mouth will remain numb for a few hours after the extraction. While your mouth is numb, you'll want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. After the extraction, do not eat any foods that require chewing while your mouth is numb. The numbness should go away within a few hours. If it doesn't, contact Dr. Clark.

1Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction

Dr. Clark may place a gauze pack on the extraction site to limit bleeding. This will also help a blood clot to form, which is necessary for normal healing. This gauze pack should be left in place for 30 to 45 minutes after you leave the office. Do not chew on the pack. There may be some bleeding or oozing after the pack is removed. If so, here's what to do:
  • Fold a piece of clean gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on. Dampen the pad with clean, warm water and place it directly on the extraction site.
  • Apply pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked with blood, replace it with a clean one.
  • Do not suck on the extraction site or disturb it with your tongue.
  • A slight amount of blood may leak from the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call Dr. Clark. (Remember, though, that a little bit of blood mixed with saliva can look like a lot of bleeding.)

1Do Not Disturb!

The blood clot that forms in the tooth socket is an important part of the normal healing process.
You should avoid doing things that might disturb the clot. Here's how to protect it:
  • Do not smoke, or rinse your mouth vigourously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities create a suction in the mouth, which could loosen the clot and delay healing.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages or mouthwash containing alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form.
  • Sometimes the blood clot does not form in the first day or two after the extraction, or it forms but breaks down for some reason. The result is called dry socket. This can be very painful and should be reported to Dr. Clark. A dressing may be placed in the socket to protect it until the socket heals and to reduce any pain.

1Eating and Drinking After a Tooth Extraction

After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages. Do NOT use a straw! Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For the first few days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. When it feels confortable, you should resume chewing on both sides of your mouth.

1Follow Up After a Tooth Extraction

If you have sutures that require removal, Dr. Clark will tell you when to return to the office.
1Patient education content © 2013 American Dental Association.