Healing After Tooth Extraction

Now that you have had your tooth removed, how soon will your mouth be back to normal? The simple answer is: it depends. Here’s why:


Wound Size Matters

The general healing process for any tooth extraction is the same, but if the would is larger, then it will take longer. In the case of molars or wisdom teeth, the tooth may be removed from below the gums or even below the jaw bone. If the wound is deeper, larger or wider, then the wound will take longer to heal than smaller ones like those of baby teeth or lower incisors.


Your Overall Health and Medical History

Not everyone heals at the same rate; genetics can play a role. Younger people heal faster than older people and certain medical conditions like diabetes can make healing more difficult for people. Even personal habits that include smoking and heavy caffeine use can affect your body’s ability to heal.

The health of the tooth that was removed and the tissue around it will also affect the healing process. If you have had the tooth removed as a result of an infection, the body will need to heal from both the infection as well as the surgery.


The First 24 Hours After Extraction

The day of your tooth extraction, you may not notice any big changes or steps towards healing but your body is setting the stage for the very important healing process.

You will first notice a blood clot that has formed in the empty socket which triggers the entire healing process. The blood clot will indicate that the bleeding has stopped and will keep the wound in your mouth protected.
Depending on the reason for your tooth extraction, you may notice any pain you had from the affected tooth is gone but the tissue around the empty socket is tender. You may even notice swelling starting in the area of the extraction. Some people experience more generalized swelling in their face after a tooth extraction, which should increase between 48 to 72 hours after extraction. After that point, it should start to decrease and using ice packs will help bring the swelling down.


Common Guidelines

The dentist will provide you with after care instructions which are very important to follow to encourage healing and prevent infection.

Additionally, you should be able to go back to your office job, school classes, or running errands the day after your tooth extraction. If you are hoping to return to exercising or vigorous activities, ask the dentist the best way to return to those activities. You may need to wait a few days after your extraction before its safe. If you are in good health before your tooth extraction, you will have the easiest time healing.

When your tooth extraction is a smaller tooth and not an impacted wisdom tooth, the bleeding is often controlled more easily and the healing starts faster. In those instances, you can return to physical activities the following day, but be sure to confirm this with the dentist.

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