Maintaining the health of your gums after a tooth is removed, which is called extraction, is an important part of preventing the development of an infection. Although the exact recommendations will depend on the situation, the current health of your gums and a dentist’s suggestions, having a few ideas of what to expect will give you the opportunity to prepare before your tooth is removed.
When a tooth is extracted, you will see some bleeding. The amount of bleeding will vary based on your body’s reaction and the tooth that was removed. You will be provided cotton balls and instructions regarding the bleeding.
In most cases, the bleeding will gradually taper off over the course of a few hours. You might need to change the cotton balls a few times before the bleeding completely stops.
If you develop swelling, then use an ice pack on the outside of your jaw in the area. The University of Minnesota Medical Center suggests using an ice pack for ten minutes and removing it for five minutes before repeating the process as needed until the swelling goes down.
When the bleeding has stopped, it is important to keep the site of the extraction clean. This will prevent infections from developing because your mouth has bacteria. Rinse your mouth after 12 hours with warm salt water at least four times per day.
Take prescriptions as directed. You will be given a pain reliever to help with the discomfort and may be given an antibiotic if you have a risk of infection.
Keeping your gums clean is an important part of allowing your mouth to heal after a tooth is extracted. By taking the appropriate measures to care for the extraction site, you will reduce discomfort and avoid infections.