Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores
26210 Harper Avenue, Suite 100, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

What Adults Need to Know About Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction

While no adult wants to lose a tooth, there are times when extraction is the best or only option. Damage or problems like infection, periodontal disease, or just simple overcrowding are typical causes. Here’s what you need to know before and after a tooth extraction.

Before tooth extraction:  Let your dentist know about any medications, supplements, or medical conditions that put you at a high risk of infection, such as:

  • Impaired immune system
  • History of bacterial endocarditis
  • Damaged or man-made heart valves
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Artificial joint, such as hip or knee replacement

After tooth extraction:  The tooth socket will be packed with gauze, and you’ll be asked to bite down to lessen the bleeding. A few self-dissolving stitches may be used to close the site.

Once you get home, follow these dental care guidelines:

  • Take it easy for at least 24 hours
  • Continue to bite down on the gauze pad for at least three hours to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form. Replace soaked gauze as needed.
  • Apply ice immediately after extraction and at 10-minute intervals.
  • Take painkillers as directed.
  • Don’t rinse, spit forcibly or drink from a straw for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, rinse with a solution of ½ teaspoon of salt mixed into 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Stick to soft foods like soups, yogurt, and applesauce. Gradually add solid foods as the extraction site heals.
  • Avoid lying flat. Prop your head on pillows to lessen the bleeding.
  • When brushing and flossing your other teeth, avoid the extraction site.

A certain amount of pain, swelling, and bleeding are normal after a tooth extraction, but notify your dentist in St. Clair Shores if you experience:

  • Severe pain, swelling, or bleeding after the first four hours
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the extraction site
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain

Typically, the tooth extraction site will heal in one to two weeks. After that, you can resume your normal dental care routine.

To learn more about tooth extractions from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores. 

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  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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  • Sunday Closed
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