You and Dr. Moussalli may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint,and shifting teeth.To avoid these complications, Dr. Moussalli will discuss either alternatives to extractions or replacement of the extracted tooth, including implants, bridges, and partials.

After Extraction Home Care

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form where the tooth was in order to stop the bleeding. The blood clot is like a moist scab- it begins the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment. Very slight bleeding or oozing may continue for the remainder of the day, and is normal. If you experience heavy bleeding with clots, wipe the clots away and bite on a Lipton tea bag (black tea) for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, the office answering machine gives you Dr. Moussalli’s home and cell phone numbers.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process, resulting in a painful complication called a dry socket. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

You should not rinse the area or spit for the remainder of the day as this may dislodge the clot. However, the morning after extraction please begin gentle rinsing of the area with warm salt water (1 teaspoon per cup) three times daily. You should avoid prescription mouthwash since alcohol and other ingredients may irritate the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. Ice is a benefit for the first twenty-four hours, and especially the first two hours. An ice pack or cold pack applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Take pain medications and any antibiotics as prescribed. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

Take any medications you normally take on their regular schedule.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Decatur Office Phone Number 269-423-4961.

Pain and Medications

If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or the prescription medication if this has been provided.

Dry Socket

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, resulting in healing that is significantly delayed. Most dry sockets occur in cigarette smokers.

Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing a dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.

If this occurs, please call the office as Dr. Moussallican apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.