What happens after tooth extraction

Permanent teeth, as the name implies, were designed to last our entire lifetime. However, life is not perfect. There will come a time that a tooth needs to be extracted. A badly damaged tooth due to an accident or trauma, crowded teeth or tooth decay are usually the reasons why the dentist will have to extract someone’s tooth.  

It’s only natural to feel fearful of having a tooth extracted. Our dentist will usually brief us on the things that will happen during and after the tooth is pulled out. Here’s what to expect after a tooth extraction. 

Pain and swelling 

Having a tooth extracted is no joke. Pain and swelling around the area can be expected. Drinking cold water or applying cold compress on the cheek of the affected area can help. If the pain is too much, taking painkillers will help it subside. Your dentist will usually prescribe painkillers after extracting your tooth. Just take it as needed.  


Bleeding can also happen on the gums where the tooth was extracted. Your dentist will put a gauze pad on the extraction site and require you to bite your teeth so as to apply pressure. This is to help stop the bleeding. Replace the gauze pad whenever necessary until the bleeding stops. Gargle with water to clean your mouth. Don’t use your fingers to remove any stuck cotton fibers to avoid infecting your wound. 


Your dentist will advise you to rest for the next 24 hours after the tooth has been extracted. Only perform light activities and avoid heavy lifting or highly strenuous activities for a week or two. This is the usual recovery period for a tooth extraction. Ignoring this can result in the wound opening up again and bleed profusely. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Eat soft foods 

Feasting on soup or soft foods can speed up the healing process and shorten your recovery period. This is to avoid aggravating the injury and keeps you from exerting too much force when you eat. Avoid crunching on solid food during the first few days after the extraction to help you adjust to your new situation. Give it time. You can go back to eating solid food after you have fully recovered.  

No smoking  

Smoking is bad even when we have a complete set of teeth. Even more so when we just had a tooth extracted. This is to avoid getting the wound infected. For those who smoke, this is your best time to start learning how to quit smoking.