tooth extraction healing

Tooth extraction healing: info and tips for correct aftercare.

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Table of Contents

How long it takes the wound to heal after tooth extraction? Let’s dig deeper into this argument to figure out the essential information about the tooth extraction healing process and how to speed it up with proper aftercare.

The tooth extraction healing process explained.

There are two main different kinds of healings:

  • Primary healing: this kind of healing takes place when the two margins of the wound are well-connected thanks to the sutures. It rarely happens after a tooth extraction due to the hole generated from the tooth removal. The margins of the gums are well fixed in the bone, and it’s usually impossible to connect them to close the hole. 

Timing of primary healing process: 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Secondary healing: This occurs when the wound is opened or not completely closed, and the two margins of the wound are not connected. The wound will heal by granulation, contraction, and epithelialization. 

Timing of secondary healing process: up to 8 weeks.

After a back molar extraction, generally, the healing is a secondary healing process, and it means that to close the hole completely, it will take around eight weeks. 

The organism will need to regenerate the missing tissues included the bone (to close the hole left from the tooth extraction) and the gingiva (to close the wound).

This kind of healing process takes part in almost 80-90% of the healing process after any tooth extraction. 

In some particular cases, it’s possible to have the primary wound healing because a specific surgery was performed to close the wound margins.

Tooth extraction healing time

You will heal after tooth extraction in approximately 10 to 15 days. In this period, any discomfort will gradually disappear, and you will feel again excellent. 

But as we just mentioned above, to complete the inner healing, the body needs a bit more than 15 days (8 weeks overall), so it is always a good idea to keep treating the extraction area carefully for a more extended period than 15 days.

Aftercare for tooth extraction

One of the essential aspects of aftercare is controlling the blood clot that develops in the socket where the tooth used to be.

Caring for this blood clot is the key to the healing process, and it helps limit painful complications, such as infections and dry socket.

Tooth extraction correct aftercare: Days 1-3.

Follow these instructions to heal your wound after an extraction successfully.

Do not rinse your mouth.

It is going to be tempting to rinse your mouth, but immediately after the tooth extraction and for the next three days, you should not rinse your mouth with liquids. 

By rinsing your mouth, you might break or dislodge the blood clot inside the wound and interrupt the healing process.

Do not spit

As tempting as it can be to spit, you should not do it. If you spit, you create pressure in your mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot and harm the healing process.

Ice packs

Apply an ice pack on your cheek. Keep it for 10 minutes and then take it aside for the next 10 minutes. Repeat this process for the first 8 hours after the extraction. It will help you stabilize the bleeding and reduce the possibilities of swollen.

Do not eat hot foods or drinks for 24h after the surgery.

By eating hot food or drinking hot beverages, you can stimulate the blood flow to the oral district. This might increase the bleeding of the wound and expand the possibilities to have a hemorrhage. Eat ice creams and fresh food instead.

Get rest

Take time to let your body heal himself after the stress of an extraction. Try to avoid any activities and rest and relax for 24 hours after the surgery.

Don’t eat food with seeds.

If you eat tomatoes or rise or strawberries, you increase the possibilities that some seeds or little particles of food get stuck into the hole caused by the tooth extraction. This might affect the healing process.

Do not smoke and drink alcohol.

Both of these two habits might harm the wound. The smoke generates very high temperatures in your mouth while you smoke, and alcohol might irritate inflamed tissues after the extraction. Both of them are highly recommended to stop for at least the first three days.

Eat cold and soft foods for the 48h after surgery.

These foods lower the possibilities of bleeding and have no chances that food will get stuck into the hole caused by tooth extraction. Try to follow a diet made of cold and liquid foods for the first 48 hours after the surgery.

Sleep with two pillows.

If you lay down completely, the blood flow to the head district increase. Use a couple of pillows when you lay down to keep up your head, and you will decrease reasonably the possibilities to have bleeding.

Take pain killers when you need them.

Your dentist has prescribed medicaments and pain killers to reduce the discomfort of the wound after the anesthesia is gone. Take pain killers when you need them, two or even three times a day. But take them on a full stomach, or consider to take some medicaments to protect your gastric mucosa because pain killers might inflame your stomach. We suggest you get a pain killer straight after the extraction process. It will help you to have no discomfort when the anesthesia disappears.

Don’t brush on the wound area.

Try to avoid brushing the teeth near the wound, or if you do it, do it carefully. Use a soft bristles toothbrush.

Tooth extraction correct aftercare: Days 3-10.

Gently rinse with peroxide.

Peroxide is well known as a good bacterias killer. After the 3rd day, the clot is stabilized, and you can start rinsing your mouth. Use peroxide 50% with 50% water to rinse your mouth twice a day after you brush your teeth.

Apply chlorhexidine spray or gel on the wound.

To maintain the wound clean and lower the bacteria, you should apply gel or spray on the wound area. Brush your teeth, rinse with peroxide, and apply a chlorhexidine spray or gel topically. 

Brush your teeth regularly.

You can come back to brush your teeth regularly after the 3rd day. Use a soft bristles toothbrush to be more gentle on the wound anyway.

Saltwater rinse

You can add salt in warm water and gently rinse your mouth. It will help to kill bacteria. Consider salt water rinse as a natural alternative to the peroxide rinse.

Eat normally but carefully.

You can come back to eat warm and solid food, but always be careful. Chew less on the side of extraction. If a piece of hard food will scratch the wound again, you will have to step back on the healing process.

If you follow these advises, your wound will heal correctly, and you will be ready to replace the missing tooth with a beautiful implant after 2–3 months, when the tissue regeneration will be completed.

To quickly recap how you should behave after the extraction to have correct healing of the wound:

  1. Keep the area always clean.
  2. Don’t eat hot and solid food for the first 2-3 days.
  3. Eat soft and cold food for the first 2-3 days.
  4. Rinse with peroxide for seven days twice a day. You might start only 3–4 days after you had the surgery.
  5. Use topic chlorhexidine gels to disinfect the area for seven days.
  6. Try to not eat spicy food for 7–10 days after the extraction.
  7. Do not smoke
  8. Do not use alcohol
  9. Help yourself with painkillers.

The takeaway

Follow the easy steps we mentioned in the article to avoid any complications after your extraction. 

You can get rid of any problems by following a few easy steps in the aftercare of the surgery and speed up the tooth extraction healing progress.

If you want to maintain good oral health, you must focus on a perfect daily oral hygiene routine. This will decrease by 80% the risks of having oral problems and consequentially also losing your natural teeth. 

That’s why you should get on your smartphone Dental Coach for Android: it turns your smartphone into the best assistant to keep your teeth healthy.

From the app, you will have direct access to the articles of our blog, so you will find all the answers you need with few clicks.

We hope it helped, and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to write in our community.

Main reference for Oral Health:


American Dental Association (ADA) 

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