Give Dr. Acton at Cary Family Dental your medical history before scheduling
Having a tooth extracted is typically very safe but any surgical procedure can possibly allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream, putting your gum tissue at risk of infection. If you have an autoimmune or other condition that puts you at high risk for developing an infection, you may need to take antibiotics both before and after the extraction surgery. Before having a tooth pulled, let your dentist know your complete medical history, including your medication and supplements. Also, let them know if you have one of the following, or if you have damaged or man-made heart valves.
- Congenital heart defect
- Impaired immune system
- Liver disease
- An artificial joint
- History of bacterial endocarditis
(Note that this list is not complete)
After You’ve Had a Tooth Pulled
After your extraction surgery, your dentist will send you home to rest and recover for a few days. The following things can help lessen your discomfort reduce infection and speed up recovery.
- Take your prescribed painkillers.
- Bite firmly on the gauze pad placed by your dentist which will help reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket. Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood but leave the original pad in place for several hours after the extraction.
- Apply an ice bag to the skin outside the affected area right when you get home to keep down swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time, then off.
- Relax for at least 24 hours after the surgery, and limit activity for the next day or two.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
- After 24 hours, rinse with your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water.
- Do not drink from a straw for at least 24 hours.
- Do not smoke, which can inhibit healing due to the suction.
- Eat soft foods, such as broth, pudding, yogurt after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the location heals.
- Prop your head up with pillows. Lying flat may prolong bleeding.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth, but be sure to avoid the extraction site to help prevent infection.
Contact Cary Family Dental to discuss your tooth surgery:
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