Tooth Extraction Recovery Tips

Illustration of a special dental tool performing a tooth extraction

A tooth extraction can be necessary for a variety of situations, such as resolving a severe damaged or infected tooth, addressing tooth crowding, or to remove a problematic wisdom tooth. If you’re a patient who’s either preparing for a tooth extraction or has just gotten one, we have a few tips for you to help make your recovery as smooth as possible.

Manage Pain

While you shouldn’t experience any pain while getting a tooth extracted, it’s may feel some discomfort afterwards as the local anesthetic wears off. Don’t be alarmed! This is normal and will decrease with time. To manage any pain in the meantime, you can take over-the-counter pain medication following the instructions on the label.

Minimize Swelling

After a tooth extraction, you may experience some facial swelling near the area where the tooth was removed. To reduce that swelling, you can get an ice pack (frozen peas could work too in a pinch!), wrap it in a towel, and apply it to the swollen area for 15 minutes at a time with a 15 minute break in between.

Protect the Blood Clot

As you’re healing after a tooth extraction, don’t drink any liquids with a straw since the suction could potentially dislodge the blood clot that has formed to help the area heal. You should also avoid smoking and swishing. Only rinse your mouth very gently since this can affect the blood clot as well.


As with any type of post-surgery recovery, rest is important. Don’t schedule anything for the next 24 hours after your procedure so you can focus on recuperating. You should also take a break from bending, lifting, and strenuous exercise. Instead, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

If you have any questions about the before, during, or after period of a tooth extraction, don’t hesitate to contact us at Southern Dental Fort Smith. Our knowledgeable team is happy to help in any way that we can!

Contact Us

Tooth extraction image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Southern Dental Fort Smith

Southern Dental Fort Smith