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What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction

What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

In this blog post, you’re going to discover what you can expect after a tooth extraction.

Several questions related to getting a tooth pulled, which we will answer, are:

  • How Long Does Pain Last After a Tooth Extraction?
  • How Long Do You Have to Wait to Eat After Getting a Tooth Pulled?
  • What are the Symptoms of Infection After Tooth Extraction?
  • What to Expect After Having a Tooth Pulled

Let’s begin…

Tooth Extraction

Are you planning to have a tooth removed? Whether it’s a wisdom tooth extraction, related to a dental emergency, or even taking out a tooth because you have severe gum disease, the dos and don’ts after a tooth extraction are fairly consistent across the board. Knowing what to expect and how to care for your extraction site can help you recover more quickly and comfortably.

How Long Does Pain Last After a Tooth Extraction?

Depending on which type of an extraction that you had with our Princeton, NJ dentist, the discomfort may range from a couple of days to just over a week. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to plan on giving yourself at least one week before vigorous exercising and at least a few days before you go back to your normal diet.

If it’s a simple extraction, you might even be able to return to work the next day. But if it’s an oral surgery (such as a wisdom tooth extraction and bone graft) you may be advised to take off about a week to fully recover. What to expect after a molar tooth extraction will depend on if the tooth was already diseased, broken, or embedded down in the bone. Dr. Bestandji can give you a good idea as to recovery time during your tooth removal consultation.

Tooth extraction pain relief typically consists of an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as Motrin or ibuprofen for the first couple of days. If you’ve had oral surgery, you may also want to apply a cold compress on and off every 20 minutes to the side of your face that’s affected. Very rarely is a prescription pain medication necessary.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Eat After Getting a Tooth Pulled?

Plan to have a soft diet for the first day. Simple extractions usually mean you can start eating normal foods on the other side of your mouth within a day or so, as long as you avoid chewing near the extraction site. But what to expect after a difficult tooth extraction is different; you’ll likely stay on soft foods for several days. Cool items such as gelatin, ice cream, pudding, and cottage cheese can help sooth any soreness in your mouth rather than cause irritation.

Generally, a soft diet for up to two weeks is what you can expect after a wisdom tooth extraction. But removing a tooth that’s already loose because of gum disease typically won’t alter your normal routine for more than a few days, if that.

Wait until the anesthetic has worn off before you try to eat or drink something. Otherwise you risk biting the inside of your mouth or spilling the liquid down your chin. Remember to avoid drinking through a straw and stay away from carbonated or alcoholic beverages, as all these factors could raise your risk of getting a painful dry socket.

What about what to expect after a tooth extraction and bone graft? Since grafting is a much more involved surgery, our Princeton dentist may recommend a soft or liquid diet for several days as your body heals. Additional pain management may also be needed.

What are the Symptoms of Infection After Tooth Extraction?

In rare situations following a tooth extraction, there may be instances of possible infections or dry socket. The key to prevent such painful conditions is to carefully follow your home care instructions after the tooth is removed. Let Dr. Bestandji know immediately if you’re experiencing any signs of fever or facial swelling.

The recovery of what to expect with a tooth extraction isn’t much different than having other major dental work. But you need to listen to your body. If you’re sick, nauseous, developing a rash, or showing other signs of an infection, you need to seek out medical care. These situations are not normal, but there are rare instances when they can occur.

Since we’re open Saturdays, it’s easy to get in touch with our staff if you’re experiencing any unwanted side-effects. If you’re calling after hours, leave a message and someone will be in contact with you as soon as possible. However, if you’re unable to reach us and you’re experiencing facial swelling and fever, head to the nearest emergency room.

What to Expect After Having a Tooth Pulled

Now that there’s extra space in your bite, your overall smile can change. The additional room makes it possible for surrounding teeth to start shifting, leaning, and tilting. This chain reaction can start at one side of your bite and spread to the complete other side of your mouth. Even your opposing teeth can be affected!

To prevent the complications of excess space after a tooth removal, Dr. Bestandji recommends replacing your missing tooth as soon as possible. Options like a dental bridge or dental implant can retain your natural biting patterns so that you don’t develop irregular wear patterns, TMJ disorder, or aesthetic orthodontic concerns.

Do’s and Don’ts After a Tooth Extraction


    • Rest with your head elevated
    • Take over the counter pain medication as directed
    • Use a cold and warm compress
    • Eat soft foods and naturally progress to firmer textures

Schedule a post-op visit if you have sutures or completed an oral surgery

    • Replace your tooth as soon as possible
    • Contact our office if you experience a sudden worsening of pain

Listen to your body


  • Add your content…Eat hot foods or liquids when your mouth is still numb
  • Eat hard or crunchy foods until after the extraction site is healed
  • Keep any prescription pain medication after your recovery
  • Over-exert yourself while the clot is still healing
  • Ignore signs of infection like fever or swelling
  • Avoid extracting the tooth until you’re in pain
  • Go back to work the same day
  • We’ll Keep You Comfortable

Need a second opinion about having a tooth extraction or wisdom tooth removal? Contact Canal Vista Family Dental to schedule your exam. We offer flexible Saturday appointments so that you can fit quality care into your busy lifestyle. Call us today to get started!

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