FAQs. Ask away...
Is there anything I can do to help my mouth heal after an extraction?
- Different people heal at different speeds afterwards. It’s important to keep the mouth and extraction site as clean as possible, making sure that the socket is clear of all food and debris. Don’t rinse for the first 24 hours either, as this will help your mouth start the healing process. After this time use a warm salt-water mouthwash, which helps to heal the socket. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water gently rinsed around the socket twice a day can help to clean and heal the area. Keep this up for at least a week or so or for as long as your dentist tells you. Avoid exercise and alcohol for at least 24 hours after extraction, as both of these may cause a rise in blood pressure and thus promote bleeding. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after oral surgery / tooth extraction.
I am in pain, what should I take?
- There will usually be some tenderness in the area for the first few days, and in most cases some simple pain relief is enough to ease the discomfort. What you would normally take for a headache should be enough. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if in doubt check with your doctor first. Do not take aspirin, as this will make your mouth bleed.
Are there any medicines I should avoid?
- As we have said, it is important not to use anything containing aspirin as this can cause further bleeding. This happens because aspirin can thin the blood slightly. Asthma sufferers should avoid Ibuprofen-based pain relief. Again check with your chemist or dentist if you are worried or feel you need something stronger.
I am still in pain, what could it be?
- Sometimes an infection can get in the socket, which can be very painful. This is where there is little or no blood clot in the tooth socket and the bony socket walls are exposed and become infected. This is called a dry socket and in some cases is worse than the original toothache! In this case, it is important to see you dentist, who may place a dressing in the socket and prescribe a course of antibiotics to help relieve the infection. You may also feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue and sometimes small pieces of bone may work their way to the surface of the socket. This is perfectly normal.
Will my dentist need to see me again?
- If it has been a particularly difficult extraction, the dentist will give you a follow-up appointment. This could be to remove any stitches that were needed, or simply to check the area is healing well.
Can I brush my teeth?
- Yes, you should still brush your other teeth as normal, being careful to avoid the area of extraction until it has healed.
Can I smoke after surgery?
- Smoking should be avoided until your mouth has healed. We recommend that you avoid smoking for as long as you can after an extraction, but this should be at least for the rest of the day.