How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction recovery depends on the complexity of your case. However, most people feel back to normal in just a few days. While you’ll be able to return to routine activities within 48 to 72 hours, it usually takes the jawbone several weeks to heal completely. Therefore, if you’re planning on replacing the tooth with a dental implant, you’ll probably need to wait a few months to allow for full recovery.
Tooth extraction aftercare
After your extraction, your dentist will give you a detailed list of post-surgical instructions. Here are some general guidelines for a speedy tooth extraction recovery:
- Keep the extraction site clean. Gently rinse the area with an antimicrobial mouthwash two to three times a day. Avoid brushing directly over your extraction site until your dentist tells you it’s safe to do so. Brush and floss all other areas normally.
- Take all medications as directed. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers. It’s important to take all of these medications exactly as directed. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least two days. An elevated heart rate can cause increased post-operative bleeding and discomfort. Skip the gym for the first 48 to 72 hours. Ask your dentist when it’s safe to resume normal routines.
What can I eat after a tooth extraction?
Avoid hard and crunchy foods for the first few days. Stock your fridge and pantry with soft foods like rice, pasta, eggs, yogurt and applesauce. You’ll also want to avoid drinking through straws, as this can dislodge blood clots and cause dry sockets.
When can I go back to work or school?
Most people are able to return to work or school within a day or two. If you have a job that requires a lot of lifting or physical labor, you may need to take a few more days off work.
When should I see my healthcare provider?
Any time you develop a toothache or dental pain, it’s important to schedule a visit with your dentist. They can help determine the cause and design a personalized treatment plan.
If you’ve already had a tooth extraction, call your dentist if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, drainage (pus) around the extraction site, or severe pain that doesn’t improve with medication.
Related / Do You Need Oral Surgery?
It’s never fun hearing that you need to have a tooth pulled. But sometimes, a tooth extraction is the best way to eliminate infection and get you back on track to a healthy smile and life. If your dentist recommends an extraction, be sure to discuss replacement options with them, too. Dental restorations like dental implants, dental bridges, or partial dentures can restore appearance, function, and overall oral health.