Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
If you're scheduled to have a tooth pulled, you need to be prepared not only for what the procedure itself involves, but also how to care for your mouth following the extraction.
Once you get home you may want to celebrate having the troublesome tooth out of your way, but be warned - this is not the time to have an alcoholic drink! In fact, avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours as it can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Be careful with all foods and drinks, especially hot ones, until the anesthetic wears off. You won't be able to feel heat properly and may burn or scald your mouth.
It is also very important to avoid smoking and drinking from a straw. Post extraction, a blood clot forms which is the beginning stage of healing. The sucking motion involved with smoking and drinking from a straw can dislodge the blood clot which leaves a dry socket. Dry sockets are areas of underlying bone and nerve left open and exposed. They can be very painful and most likely avoided if you take care of your mouth properly post surgery.
The first 24 hours after surgery is critical for the recovery of the affected area. Don't panic if there is some bleeding following the procedure. Avoid rinsing out your mouth for the first day, instead pressing a patch of clean gauze firmly on the bleeding socket and holding it for at least 15 minutes each time. Replace the gauze as necessary, and call us if the bleeding persists. Keep ice packs or even bags of frozen peas handy to apply to any swelling on your face. After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth out twice a day with a glass of warm salt water to encourage the healing process.
While the tooth fairy may not be leaving any money under your pillow this time, getting rid of a diseased or damaged tooth will pay for itself many times over in improved dental comfort and health.