Having a Tooth Extracted? Here’s what you should do Next

having a tooth extracted

having a tooth extractedSan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

It’s estimated that more than 20 million teeth are removed via extraction each year. People have teeth extracted as a precursor to orthodontic treatment. Or, their wisdom teeth are emerging, and threaten to become impacted and threaten the alignment of the other healthy permanent teeth in your mouth. Sometimes, teeth have to be extracted due to severe damage due to injury or decay, or the presence of a potentially serious infection. Glen Park Dental prefers to prevent tooth loss whenever possible, but if necessary, we can perform any extractions you may need. Maybe you’re scheduled for an extraction, but unsure what regimen of care you should follow. Glen Park Dental wants to supply some answers to frequently asked questions about extractions.

How soon can I resume my regular routine?

If you have a tooth extracted, you should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Remember to keep your head elevated to avoid any additional significant bleeding. Avoid exercising, bending at the waist, and lifting anything heavy. While light chores, such as fixing dinner or driving to pick up your kids from school, are fine (as long as you weren’t sedated for the procedure), avoid activities that will increase your blood pressure.

Should I take any specific precautions?

You’ll need to maintain a diet of soft foods for the first couple of days after an extraction, but initially, you should avoid any hot or spicy food. Stick with foods that are easy to chew because your mouth may be sore for a few days.

Try to sleep with your head elevated on the first night; this is usually as easy as using an extra pillow. You may want to put a towel on the pillow, in case your extraction site bleeds a bit during the night. 

It is important, however, that you maintain good oral hygiene even the day of your extraction. Avoid brushing directly over the extraction site, but brushing and flossing around your other teeth are fine. However, we advise skipping the mouth rinse for a few days, especially if it isn’t alcohol-free.

When can I rinse out my mouth?

You should avoid any and all rinsing for the first 24 hours. After that, gently swish warm (not hot) salt water in your mouth several times a day or after each meal. Let the water run out of your mouth, and avoid spitting with force as this could dislodge the blood clot and cause a painful dry socket.

What about bleeding?

Many people who have a tooth extracted are worried about the bleeding after the procedure. There looks like there’s more blood than there actually is because the blood mixes with saliva. You may experience slight bleeding throughout the day of the procedure, but after that, bleeding should subside. If you notice subsequent bleeding, place pressure on the socket by placing gauze or a cotton ball directly over the extraction site and bite down for at least 15 minutes. If bleeding continues for an hour or two, contact the dentist as soon as possible.

What can I take for pain?

In most cases, over-the-counter pain relief medicine can ease discomfort after an extraction. Be sure to avoid aspirin, as this can thin your blood slightly and lead to bleeding resuming. More significant pain could indicate the presence of an infection or a dry socket, both of which are serious problems that need to be evaluated by your dentist.

Get a tooth pulled in San Francisco

If you need a tooth pulled, or are looking for a dentist in San Francisco that pulls teeth, contact Glen Park Dental. We also offer tooth replacement options to restore your smile and your confidence. To learn more, give us a call at (415) 585-1500 if you’re located in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.