Ahh! The relief! Now that you’ve taken the first step to enjoy eating again, not to mention having a more confident smile, let’s get things healed quickly so we can move on to Step 2 (a partial or other type of replacement so your teeth don’t try to hog that newly formed space and get everything, including your jaw, out of whack!.)
What’s Going On in My Mouth?
Well, first off, the area where the tooth was removed is working hard to form a clot. This will turn into a fibrous tissue and eventually bone. You’ll also most likely have some oozing and discolored saliva while your mouth works to heal itself. Some swelling, stiffness and other discomfort will surely make an appearance as well. Again, your body is trying to heal the area, so know this is normal and give it some time to do its job.
What Can I Do to Aid Healing?
- Bite on a gauze pack for 5 to 10 minutes to stop bleeding.
- Wet a non-herbal tea bag and place on the socket. Cover with gauze and bite for 10 minutes.
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling. 15 minutes on; 15 minutes off for 3 hours should do the trick.
- Use prescription pain meds as prescribed, but avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while it’s in you. Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve, etc, also work well if nothing stronger was prescribed.
Call if you experience excessive bleeding or other persistent problems!
The Do’s and Don’ts
- DO rinse with saltwater, mouth wash, or plain water
- DON’T swish
- DO eat and drink only lukewarm or cold things for 4 days
- DON’T smoke (but if you must, place a gauze pack over the site first)
- DO ban straws
- DON’T chew anything until the numbness wears off!