How Long After a Tooth Extraction Can I Eat?
Tooth extraction is the official term for having a tooth pulled. Teeth may need to be extracted for a variety of reasons. A tooth that is severely decayed or damaged beyond saving will need to be extracted. In some cases a tooth fails to come in properly because it is impacted, or stuck below the gums.
Whatever the reason, tooth extraction is very common. If you have an upcoming tooth extraction or you’ve recently had a tooth pulled, you may be wondering when you’ll be able to eat normally again. Here’s what you can expect.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
A simple tooth extraction can usually be done with just local anesthesia to numb the area. The tooth is carefully loosened and removed. A stitch or two may be used to close up the gum tissue afterwards.
A more complex tooth extraction, such an impacted tooth, may require a little more time. Local anesthesia may be sufficient in this case, but sedation options are available when appropriate or requested. After an impacted tooth is removed, it is more likely that a few stitches will be placed in the gum tissue afterwards.
Eating After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth extraction the gum tissue may be a little sore. You may not feel it until the local anesthesia wears off. When it comes to eating, good nutrition and adequate fluid intake are important after surgery. Start off with cool liquids and soft foods. This is to prevent you from burning or biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. Suggestions are scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding pasta, milkshakes, and yogurt. We encourage you to resume your normal diet as soon as possible. Avoid straws for one week. Drinking from a straw can dislodge the blood clot that forms in the socket after an extraction, which results in a condition called dry socket.
How Long Until I’m Fully Healed?
Everyone heals differently and at different rates, so there is no definitive answer to this question. It is expected to have some discomfort after surgery and need pain medication for one or two weeks. If you are still experiencing discomfort after two weeks following your extraction, contact your oral surgeon. There may be a need for some follow-up care to help ensure you are healing properly. There is always a chance of postoperative infection, which is characterized by pain and swelling at the site of the extraction and sometimes a fever. Keep fingers, toothpicks, or other matter that may cause infection, out of the mouth. Do not disturb the blood clot - grayish or yellowish appearance and slight odor do not indicate an infected condition. Smoking and drinking alcohol will disturb the clot and slow the healing.
Why Choose Fullerton Oral Surgery?
Oral surgeons specialize in surgical dentistry, which includes tooth extraction. Fullerton Oral Surgery provides tooth extraction services from basic to complex extractions, and even wisdom teeth. We offer a range of sedation options to make the procedure relaxing and comfortable. Our office is equipped with the latest technology and we keep up to date with current best practices to make tooth extraction as minimally invasive as possible for faster recovery.