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Mind the aftercare for your tooth removal
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Mind the aftercare for your tooth removal

Lack of oral hygiene can cause bacteria to enter the socket and result in infection and pain 

Tooth extraction (removal of tooth) is a common dental procedure that, at times, leaves people with questions about the recovery process. Understanding what happens after the extraction is key to ensuring a smooth recovery.  

After the tooth removal, the socket (space inside the gums that holds the tooth) remains open. The socket takes nearly two weeks to heal and close completely. “Lack of oral hygiene can cause bacteria to enter the socket and result in infection and pain,” warns Dr Akshaya S, consultant dentist, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu.  

Your dentist will provide specific post-operative instructions tailored to your situation. These instructions may include refraining from vigorous rinsing or spitting, avoiding contact with the extraction site using your tongue or fingers, and sticking to a diet of soft or liquid foods in the initial days. 

Here are a few general tips that help in maintaining oral health and healing of the socket.   

7 things to follow after tooth removal
Inputs from Dr Akshaya | Illustration by Dr S Saberitha

Healing process 

“After the tooth extraction, blood clotting inside the socket facilitates the healing process. It aids in the formation of new bone and soft tissues,” says Dr Akshaya. This helps in preserving the structure of the jawbone.  She adds that chronic conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and medications could delay the healing process.  

Other factors to consider   

Your dentist might ask you to temporarily stop taking blood thinners and antiplatelet medicines before the removal of a tooth. This is because they may interfere with the blood clotting process. They might ask you to continue the medication after tooth removal, with the additional advice of your physician. 

If you have had multiple teeth or a tooth with multiple roots removed, then a week after the removal, you will need to consult your dentist for the removal of the suture. Suture is a surgical thread that is used to close the socket. 

The don’ts 

Dr Akshaya says that smoking, excessive spitting of saliva, rinsing the mouth forcefully, consuming hard foods, and touching the area with fingers or tongue can interfere with the clotting process and causes a condition called dry socket. It can result in pain, discomfort, even infection. 

The importance of socket healing 

A healed socket is essential for replacing the space with dentures, artificial crowns, and implants. It aids in more comfort and restores oral functions such as chewing and speaking. 

Following good oral hygiene reduces the risk of complications and improves the healing process. 

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