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Healing After Tooth Extraction
Whether you need your wisdom teeth removed, or you have a tooth that needs to be removed due to damage, infection or crowding, there are certain things that you’ll need to know about the procedure to ensure your mouth heals up and everything returns to normal. One of the most important things to understand is what the healing process is like, and how you can make sure it goes smoothly.
Here are some questions to consider when it comes to healing process after a tooth extraction:
How Long Will I Need to Take Off After a Tooth Extraction?
While a tooth extraction isn’t the most intensive procedure, it will still require some recovery time—especially if anesthesia is used. Still, the time off needed should be limited. Usually taking the day off of work or school to have the procedure done, and to recover, should be enough.
What Activities Should I Avoid After the Procedure?
Certain activities will be fine the day after your procedure, such as: working, shopping and other non-strenuous activities. Other more strenuous activities may require a few days for healing. This is especially so with contact sports, which can result in injury. Speak with your dentist about when the right time is to become involved with more strenuous activities again.
How Long Until I Can Smoke Again?
While smoking in and of itself is not good for your tongue, gums, teeth or any area of your mouth, lungs or body overall, it is especially dangerous after a procedure like a tooth extraction. By smoking too soon after a tooth is removed, the patient runs the risk of interfering with the formation of blood clots, and can even cause dry sockets to form. These can spread, and will lead to pain, bad breath and even difficulty with opening the mouth. Make sure to refrain from smoking for at least 72 hours after a procedure to give your mouth enough time to heal.
What Is the Bone Healing Process Like?
While you may think that the biggest part of the healing process is the gums, it’s actually the jaw bone that takes the longest to heal. Actually, it may take 6-8 months for the bone to fully heal. If the tooth is not replaced, you may actually notice a change in the shape of your jawbone. The length of the healing process, and the amount of change to the jawbone that may occur, both depend on which tooth is being removed.
Does the Tooth Size Matter in Recovery?
Which tooth is being extracted actually matters when it comes to recovery. Smaller wounds take less time than larger wounds to heal, so the size of the tooth that is being removed will make a difference.
It is important to give yourself at least a day to heal after a tooth extraction, and avoid hard foods, sucking through straws and smoking for a few days. Speak with your dentist about the timeframe for your recovery, and to set up an appointment for the extraction.
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