The ultimate goal of dentistry is to maintain your natural teeth whenever possible. However, sometimes a tooth becomes too severely decayed or damaged to be saved and needs to be extracted. Teeth may also be extracted for orthodontic or dental health purposes, such as crowded teeth or impacted wisdom teeth.
If you’re in need of a tooth extraction, you may have some questions about the procedure, such as how long it takes to heal afterwards. Here’s what you can expect in terms of recovery following an extraction.
Complete Healing Takes a Few Months
On average, the gum tissue will be fully healed anywhere from 3-6 months after extraction. But every patient is different and healing times may differ. There are many factors that can affect the speed of oral tissue healing after one or more teeth are extracted.
Factors That Affect Healing Time
The following factors may affect how long it takes to heal after a tooth extraction:
- Type and size of the tooth. Some teeth will be easier to extract than others. A larger tooth, such as a molar, could require a more invasive approach to remove. This means it will likely take longer to heal.
- Location of the tooth. Where the tooth is located in your mouth may also affect healing time. It may heal faster if it is in a part of the mouth that is less likely to come in contact with anything that could irritate the healing tissue.
- Complexity of the procedure. If the extraction is a particularly complex procedure, such as an impacted wisdom tooth, it may take longer to heal because more of the tissue is disturbed by the extraction.
- Your age. An unfortunate side effect of aging is that you simply don’t heal as quickly as you did when you were younger. The older you are, the longer it may take for the tissue to fully heal after a tooth extraction.
What Helps Healing?
You can improve your chances of healing more quickly with the following tips:
- Follow your dentist’s instructions for after care.
- Eat a diet of soft foods for the first few days after extraction.
- Eat plenty of protein.
- Be sure to allow food and beverages to cool before consuming.
- Continue to take your usual vitamins and medications.
- Rinse with warm salt water 3 times a day.
- Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to reduce inflammation.
- Get plenty of rest.
What Deters Healing?
On the other hand, these are things to avoid that can slow down the healing process:
- Don’t drink from a straw. The suction can dislodge the blood clot, resulting in dry socket.
- Avoid brushing and flossing around the healing tissue until it is safe to do so.
- Avoid chewing food in the area of the extracted tooth.
- Don’t smoke or use chewing tobacco.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- If you have stitches, don’t attempt to remove them. They should dissolve or come out on their own as the tissue heals.
Golia Dental Provides Tooth Extraction
If you need to have a tooth extracted, whether it is for orthodontic purposes or the tooth is too damaged to be saved, Golia Dental provides tooth extraction services. We make the process as comfortable as possible, using minimally invasive procedures and state of the art technology for faster recovery.
To learn more, call 203-248-7400 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.