Eating and Drinking After a Tooth Extraction: What to Know
Written by Scripps West Dental
Having a tooth extraction is a common dental procedure in Mira Mesa. There are various reasons for tooth extraction, including advanced decay, severe areas of gum disease, overcrowding, and even trauma from accidents or injuries. The procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia (numbing medication) to minimize pain and discomfort. But if you’ve never had a tooth pulled before, there are several things you can plan for and expect as part of the recovery process.
Good Home Care Reduces Complications
After a tooth extraction, it is essential to take care of the area to promote healing and prevent infections or other types of complications. We’ll provide you with a written list of home care instructions so that you’ll know exactly what to do while you recover. One of the critical aspects of aftercare is knowing what to eat and drink after the procedure. At Scripps West Dental, we know a lot about eating and drinking after tooth extraction. Here are some of our most helpful tips.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
As mentioned earlier, there are various reasons why a dentist in Mira Mesa may recommend tooth extraction. Decay is one of the most common reasons, and it occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that erodes the tooth enamel. If left untreated, the decay can reach the tooth’s pulp, causing infection and pain. While it’s our goal to restore these teeth, severe tooth damage may not be restorable at all. Instead, the tooth is removed to prevent spread of decay.
Gum disease is another reason for tooth extraction. Severe periodontal disease occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gums, leading to inflammation and detachment. Over time, gum disease causes bone loss and enough tissue deterioration that the teeth become loose and fall out.
Overcrowding is another reason why a dentist or orthodontist may recommend a tooth extraction. Severe crowding occurs when there is not enough space for teeth to grow properly. This can lead to crooked teeth, discomfort, TMJ issues, worn enamel, and difficulty chewing.
Eating After Teeth Removal
After a tooth extraction, it is important to eat soft foods for the first few days. This will help minimize pain and reduce the risk of complications. Some of the best foods to eat after a tooth extraction include:
- Yogurt: This is a soft and creamy food that is easy to swallow and contains probiotics that promote oral health.
- Soup: Broth-based soups are an excellent source of nutrients and are easy to eat. Just be sure not to have anything too hot until your numbing medication wears off.
- Applesauce: This go-to is a soft and nutritious food that is easy to digest and rich in vitamins and fiber.
- Mashed Potatoes: This is a soft and filling food that is easy to chew and swallow. Or add a little milk and make some yummy potato soup.
- Smoothies: DIY smoothies are a great way to get nutrients and hydration without having to chew anything. Just be sure to use a spoon instead of a straw!
Post Extraction Aftercare
After a tooth extraction, it is crucial to take care of the extraction site to promote healing and prevent infection. Here are some post-extraction aftercare tips:
- Bite down on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the procedure to help stop bleeding.
- Avoid any vigorous rinsing for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products for at least 72 hours after the procedure.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or hot beverages for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and discomfort, applying it for 20 minutes at a time during the first day.
Tooth Extraction in San Diego
If you are looking for a reliable dental provider to perform your tooth extraction in San Diego, look no further than Scripps West Dental. Our Mira Mesa dentists are dedicated to providing our patients with compassionate and personalized care. We use state-of-the-art technology and techniques to ensure that our patients can enjoy an efficient appointment and quick recovery.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you need a tooth extraction or have questions about other dental treatments in San Diego, schedule an appointment with Scripps West Dental today.