Tooth extractions are sometimes necessary when a tooth is impacted, in advanced stages of decay, needs to be prepared for dentures, or is cracked beyond repair. The procedure of extaction is common and there is no reason to worry. Anesthesia will allow you to remain comfortable during the extraction, and mild pain medication will take the edge off afterwards. Patients often have questions about what types of food they should eat as their mouth heals after a tooth extraction. Here are a few guidelines:

A Soft Spot

Following an extraction, soft foods that go down easy are your best bet. Avoid foods which may cause injury to the surgical area. Stay far away from hard, chewy foods. If you received local anesthesia during the extraction, your tongue, gums, cheeks, and mouth will remain numb for a while. Avoid chewing as much as you possibly can. Large chunks of food can become lodged in the extraction area which prevents healing and could cause infection.

Reducing Swelling

Swelling will naturally occur after an extraction. For the first 24 hours after having a tooth pulled, consuming cold foods such as ice cream or popsicles will feel very soothing. The highest inflammation usually occurs the first day after a tooth extraction. The cold nature of ice cream will cause the blood vessels at the surgical site to constrict. This will limit the amount of swelling. You can also apply a bag of ice to your cheek for 20 minutes immediately when you arrive home after the procedure, and then repeat the process for 1-2 hours.

Heat it Up

You can alternate cold compresses with application of heat. Heat will cause the blood vessels to enlarge, helping them remove fluids which cause the extraction site to swell. For this purpose, replace your ice cream with hot soup. You should also use a hot compress instead of a bag of ice to reduce swelling at this point. Use the same 20-minute procedure you used with the ice.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have questions about tooth extraction or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Riverside Dental Group, please call our office at (951) 689-5031.