Managing Pain After Tooth Extraction: Duration and Relief

May 14, 2024 | 2 min read

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According to Healthline, excessive tooth decay, tooth infection, and crowding can all require a tooth extraction. Pain after tooth extraction typically lasts 3 to 7 days and can extend to the jaw.

Recognizing the causes and duration of pain and following proper relief methods can help you recover more comfortably.

How Long Does Tooth Extraction Pain Last?

Pain after tooth extraction usually lasts about 3 to 7 days. This period can vary depending on the complexity of the extraction. Most people experience the most significant pain during the first 24 hours.

Jaw pain often accompanies tooth extraction pain and usually lasts for a similar duration. It should subside within a week as the extraction site heals. If jaw pain persists beyond this period, consult your dentist.

How to Relieve Pain After Tooth Extraction?

Techniques and methods for pain relief:

  • Apply a cold pack: Place it on the outside of your cheek near the extraction site. Use for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling and numb the area.
  • Switch to warm compresses: After the first day, use warm compresses to soothe any remaining discomfort.
  • Elevate your head: Use an extra pillow while sleeping to minimize swelling and throbbing pain.
  • Avoid strenuous activities: Refrain from heavy lifting or intense exercise to prevent increased blood flow to the extraction site.
  • Follow dentist's instructions: Adhere to any pain management and care routines advised by your dentist.

Tips for reducing discomfort and promoting healing:

  • Soft food diet: Eat foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies that require minimal chewing.
  • Avoid irritating foods: Stay away from hot, spicy, and crunchy foods that can irritate the extraction site.
  • Warm salt water rinses: Start rinsing gently with warm salt water 24 hours after the procedure. Rinse 2-3 times a day, especially after meals, to keep the area clean and promote healing.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth gently, avoiding the extraction site to prevent irritation.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol: Both can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • Keep the extraction site clean: Follow these tips to significantly reduce discomfort and promote faster healing.

How to Treat Nerve Pain After Tooth Extraction?

Nerve pain after tooth extraction can occur if the nerves near the extraction site are damaged during the procedure. This type of pain is often sharp, shooting, or tingling and can radiate to other areas of the face or jaw.

Nerve damage can happen due to the complexity of the extraction, especially if the tooth was impacted or close to a nerve.

Effective treatments and management strategies:

  • Consult your dentist: If you suspect nerve pain, contact your dentist immediately. They can assess the situation and provide specific advice or treatments.
  • Pain management techniques: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage the pain. Follow the dosage instructions carefully and consult your dentist for recommendations.
  • Ice and heat therapy: Apply a cold pack to the affected area to reduce inflammation and numb the pain. After 48 hours, switch to warm compresses to increase blood flow and promote healing.
  • Gentle massage: Massaging the area around the extraction site can help alleviate nerve pain. Be gentle to avoid causing more irritation.
  • Maintain oral hygiene: Keep the area clean to prevent infection, which can worsen nerve pain. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse with warm salt water.
  • Avoid aggravating activities: Refrain from activities that can increase pain, such as chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth, or opening your mouth wide.
  • Follow-up appointments: Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist to monitor healing and address any ongoing pain or complications.
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