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What are the Treatments for Pain After Tooth Extraction?

Post-tooth extraction pain is manageable with a blend of at-home care and professional treatments. Options range from prescribed medications to natural remedies like saltwater rinses. Proper rest and following your dentist's advice are crucial for healing. Interested in learning how to optimize your recovery and comfort? Discover the most effective strategies for post-extraction care in our comprehensive guide.
Patti Kate
Patti Kate

In most cases, pain after tooth extraction generally does not last more than a day or two. After oral surgery, however, pain can be controlled by medication, which is typically prescribed by the dentist or oral surgeon. Post-surgical pain can also be controlled by applications of ice.

After tooth extraction or oral surgery, the dentist or surgeon will provide the patient with post-operative care instructions. This typically consists of a checklist or step-by-step instructions for what the patient needs to do to help the healing process and alleviate pain. These instructions generally will outline care for the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction and include instructions for pain management. There may be a separate or attached sheet of instructions for special care that is needed for the next few days following surgery.

A cross section of a tooth.
A cross section of a tooth.

It is important when managing pain after tooth extraction to be careful not to re-injury the surgery site. This means keeping fingers and the tongue from probing the area and disturbing any sutures that may be in place. Sutures may dissolve in a few days or the dentist may remove them.

If the dentist deems it necessary, he may prescribe a pain medication. It's important to follow the medication directions exactly. This also means never over using or taking more than prescribed. If there are risks from side effects, these should be noted. Cool drinks and frozen ice pops may provide some soothing relief from pain after tooth extraction as well.

Ice packs may be used to treat swelling after a tooth extraction.
Ice packs may be used to treat swelling after a tooth extraction.

During the first 12 to 24 hours, the dentist may recommend refraining from eating solid foods. This may help control pain after tooth extraction. Avoiding crunchy foods or anything that may scratch the gum near the incision site is important. If there are instructions to use ice, these also should be followed. Ice packs may reduce swelling and, in turn, help control the post-operative pain.

Pain after tooth extraction may last for a day or two.
Pain after tooth extraction may last for a day or two.

If the patient still has minor discomfort or pain that lasts more than a day after tooth extraction, warm compresses may bring some relief. A washcloth dipped in warm water and placed over the jaw or cheek may help alleviate pain. The cloth should be warm, but not extremely hot.

If a blood clot has not initially formed after the tooth extraction, there is a risk for developing what is known as a dry socket. This complication may cause significant pain and require further treatment. If the patient experiences a throbbing type of pain in the area several days after the oral surgery, the dentist may check for a dry socket. He may prescribe a pain medication and place a type of medicated solution directly into the area. This typically will aid in healing and relieve some of the pain.

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Discussion Comments

Wisedly33

*Don't* drink through a straw! That's the surest way in the world to get a dry socket, and besides, it will probably hurt like the dickens.

Eat smooth foods like pudding and jello. Rice is a no-no -- the grains can get into a socket. Eeewww.

My dentist advised me after a root canal, to get some liquid gel Naproxen to use in conjunction with the prescription pain meds. He said the liquid capsules hit the bloodstream faster, and since a lot of pain is due to swelling and inflammation, the Naproxen helped with that. I did and it worked. I didn't have to take much of the prescription stuff as long as I stayed with the Naproxen.

Scrbblchick

Ice and pain meds. They help more than anything. When I had my wisdom teeth out, my oral surgeon advised me to get my scrips filled before I went home. He said take a pain pill with something cold and carbonated the minute I got home and to put ice on my jaws. The idea is that when the novocaine wears off, the pain meds will already be on board, and it's a lot easier to stay ahead of the pain than to have to sneak up on it.

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    • A cross section of a tooth.
      By: Andrea Danti
      A cross section of a tooth.
    • Ice packs may be used to treat swelling after a tooth extraction.
      By: liveostockimages
      Ice packs may be used to treat swelling after a tooth extraction.
    • Pain after tooth extraction may last for a day or two.
      By: Nejron Photo
      Pain after tooth extraction may last for a day or two.
    • Many people take aspirin for tooth pain following an extracion.
      By: blueskies9
      Many people take aspirin for tooth pain following an extracion.
    • The warmth of a compress can help to ease symptoms of pain, burning, and itching.
      By: fotomatrix
      The warmth of a compress can help to ease symptoms of pain, burning, and itching.
    • It's common for the mouth to hurt for a day or two after teeth are removed.
      By: 9nong
      It's common for the mouth to hurt for a day or two after teeth are removed.