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How Long Does Swelling Last After Tooth Extraction?

Dec 4, 2023oral surgery, Wisdom Teeth

How Long Does Swelling Last After Tooth Extraction?

The healing time can vary depending on factors such as the strength of your immune system and the aftercare routine you follow. Moreover, the number of teeth removed is a factor. Was there one tooth extracted or were multiple dental extractions performed?

It is recommended to allocate a sufficient amount of time, typically around a month, for proper healing. Because of the sensitivity and susceptibility of your gums to irritation, it may take some time for them to fully recover. By following the guidance provided by your dentist, you can proceed with confidence. Regardless of whether the recovery period lasts two weeks or four, the gums will heal naturally without any external intervention.

If you experience persistent swelling and pain, it is important to seek dental care as soon as possible.


The First 24 Hours

During the first day after a tooth extraction, various events will occur. After the stitches are placed in your oral cavity, the tissue will fuse together and the healing process will begin, triggering blood coagulation.

On the first day of your recovery, you may experience mild discomfort and slight bleeding. To help manage these symptoms, a prescription for a pain reliever is typically given.

Individuals can typically resume non-strenuous activities, such as operating a vehicle or performing desk work, within 24 hours following the procedure. However, participating in sports activities may have certain limitations, and individuals with physically demanding jobs may need extra time to recover.

The swelling typically peaks around 24 hours after surgery. To reduce this, ice packs can be applied to the face, which should result in a quick decrease. If pain and bleeding continue for 2-3 days, it is recommended to seek dental consultation to ensure there are no complications from the procedure.

1-2 Days Post Extraction

It is important to take utmost care during the first 48 hours after your extraction procedure as this is a critical period for the healing process of your mouth. It is common to notice slight bleeding and feel some discomfort near the extraction site after a tooth is removed. As these two days are important for your recovery, we suggest the following measures:

  • Getting plenty of rest: It is recommended to allow at least 24 hours of relaxation after the extraction procedure.
  • Change gauze: After applying gauze, it is recommended to wait for several hours to allow a blood clot to develop. You are able to change the gauze pad as often as needed.
  • Take pain medication: Depending on your medical history, your doctor may suggest more potent pain relief options for more complex tooth extractions, such as molar teeth or wisdom teeth. However, in certain cases, over-the-counter painkillers may be enough to relieve any discomfort.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking through straws: During the initial stages of healing, it is important not engage in activities such as smoking or using straws, as these can create suction in the mouth and have negative effects on the blood clot. It is crucial to exercise caution during the initial days when performing these actions.
  • Elevate the head: To prevent blood from accumulating in your mouth and delay the recovery time, it is recommended to elevate your head while sleeping or taking a break by adding extra pillows.


3 Days Post Extraction

Within approximately 72 hours, the area where the tooth was removed will have experienced significant healing. Any signs of bleeding should have completely disappeared, with minimal swelling. While there may still be some sensitivity or discomfort, any significant pain or discomfort should have disappeared. At this stage of the recovery process, it is important to maintain clot stability by implementing additional hygiene measures, such as:

  • Saline rinses: To maintain oral hygiene and prevent bacterial growth and infection, it is recommended to rinse your mouth gently with either a saline solution or warm water with salt.
  • Brush and floss: Maintain your regular oral hygiene routine, commencing with brushing and flossing your teeth. Please be careful to avoid the area where the tooth was removed. You can choose to use a saline rinse or salt water solution to effectively clean the extraction area.
  • Eating soft foods: During the healing phase, it is recommended to include soft foods in your diet to avoid any discomfort or food getting stuck in the socket. Consider choosing popular alternatives such as soups, yogurt, or applesauce.


1 Week Post Extraction

The formation of your clot should be complete and properly positioned in approximately 7-10 days. If you have non-dissolvable stitches, there will be a time when they need to be removed. If they were dissolvable stitches, they will naturally dissolve. If you experience pain or bleeding during this phase of the healing journey, it is recommended to contact your dentist and ask about the need for a follow-up appointment.


2 Weeks Post Extraction

The sockets will be almost fully recovered in about two weeks. However, the tissue surrounding the extracted area is sensitive and has a rich supply of blood vessels. It is recommended to avoid excessive brushing of this area and to be cautious while chewing near the extraction site. Even though your socket appears to be healing, there is still a possibility of infection or damage to the newly formed layer of gum tissue.


3+ Weeks Post Extraction

The healing phase will likely be almost complete in about three to four weeks. While slight tenderness may be experienced in the extraction area, it should not cause significant discomfort or lead to any notable bleeding.

It is recommended to take precautions to avoid the build-up of food or debris in your empty tooth socket. To maintain good oral hygiene, it is important to brush, floss, and irrigate the socket as directed to effectively remove any debris.

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