Monday March 14 2016

Managing healing process after tooth extraction

There are different ways of managing post tooth

There are different ways of managing post tooth extraction pain. File photo 

By Richard Kabanda

Removing a tooth is the last treatment option one should think of in case of toothache, as there other treatments available.
In case of tooth extraction, one needs to be keen with a number of things immediately after the procedure, as failure to follow the dental health professional’s guidelines, may lead to a more painful and dangerous situation.

After an extraction, a blood clot will form in the tooth socket and it is this clot that protects the bone during the healing process. If the blood clot is loosened or dislodged, you may have a dry socket, leaving the bone exposed. A dry socket is a very painful condition just like a toothache or even worse. It is due to a failed healing process and is usually accompanied with infection. In case of severe dental pain after an extraction, you must go back to the dentist for post procedure management.

Managing the healing process
•Take pain killers and antibiotics as prescribed by your dentist
•After 24 hours of tooth extraction, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water three times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Make your own salt by mixing one tea spoon of salt in a medium sized glass of warm water
•Do not engage yourself in physical activities on the day of tooth extraction as this may increase bleeding which will prolong the healing process.

•Avoid smoking after removing your tooth just in case you do so.
•Eat soft foods in the first three days of extraction, and then gradually add solid foods to your diet as the healing progresses.
•Do not lie flat as this may prolong bleeding. Always support your head with a pillow.
•Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue
•Do not use sucking motions like straws when drinking in the first two days of extraction.
•Do not brush your teeth on the day of extraction. Continue to brush your teeth the following days but with a lot of care not to induce bleeding.
Always consult your dentist on the most appropriate artificial tooth you need to replace the one removed.

The writer is a dentist