It can be challenging to know if your tooth extraction site is properly healing. You can anticipate mild bleeding, swelling, pain, sore jaw and throat, as well as, slight discolouration and bruising as the anesthesia wears off during the initial recovery period. All of these side effects are common and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
At all stages of the recovery process, you should monitor the extraction site to ensure it is improving every day. We recommend looking at images of tooth extraction healing so you know what your mouth should look like. In this blog, we will describe what a tooth extraction should and should not look like when it’s healing. If you suspect your tooth extraction site isn’t healing properly at any point in your healing process, don’t hesitate to contact our dental clinic in Mississauga.
So, what does normal healing look like after a Tooth Extraction?
A healthy tooth extraction site should look deep red with white gelatinous tissues forming over time.
A membrane called “granulation tissue” will form in the extraction site after about a week following the tooth extraction procedure. Within the first day following your tooth removal, a blood clot forms to stop the bleeding. Granulation tissue helps to protect the clot until the formation of the new bone. This bone formation will take approximately eight weeks. The tissue is a creamy white colour and is made up of collagen, blood vessels and white blood cells. The formation of this tissue is a great sign! It means your socket is healing properly.
Once a blood clot has formed, and granulation tissue has appeared in your extraction site, you’re well on your way to the road to recovery! To ensure you’re protecting the clot while it heals, take the following precautions for up to ten days following your tooth removal:
- Gently rinse your mouth out with a small spoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water to kill any bacteria. Don’t forcefully spit out this solution as this can dislodge the clot and cause complications.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth but avoid the teeth adjacent to the extraction site.
- Eat only soft, nutritious foods for won’t require you to chew. For more information about what to eat and what not to eat after tooth extraction, read our other blogs
After two weeks, we recommend visiting your dentist or oral surgeon for a check-up so you can get a professional opinion on how your tooth extraction site is healing.
What Shouldn’t A Tooth Extraction Look Like When It’s Healing?
If you experience any of the following worsening symptoms during the healing process, you should contact our emergency dental clinic in Mississauga and seek treatment promptly:
- High fever, nausea or vomiting
- A foul taste or smell from the extraction site
- Dry socket
What is a Dry Socket?
Dry socket is a fairly common complication that follows a tooth extraction. According to Healthline, 1 to 5% of patients who have teeth removed get dry socket. It occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site doesn’t properly develop. Dry socket is problematic as it may cause bone and nerve exposure.
You may have dry socket if:
- You can see a visible bone in the socket, or your socket appears grey in appearance or empty-looking.
- You’re in severe pain following your tooth extraction. This pain will radiate from the extraction site to your ears, eyes or temples.
- You’ve lost your blood clot.
- You have consistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth despite brushing your teeth and practicing good oral hygiene.
If you’ve been monitoring your extraction site and you suspect you have dry socket, contact your trusted dentist or oral surgeon right away.
What Are the Signs of a Tooth Infection?
If you see white or yellow pus in your socket after the extraction, you should call your dentist as this is a sign of infection.
You should also look for out these signs of infection:
- Worsening bleeding, pain and swelling for two to three days following your procedure
- A bad taste in your mouth
While monitoring your socket, you may also notice food debris or leftover gauze in your extraction site. Unless these particles are causing pain, you can rinse your mouth with the saltwater mixture mentioned above to dislodge any food particles and prevent infection.
You also may also feel tiny pieces of tooth fragment emerging from the socket. This fragmentation is also not a cause for concern as any remaining pieces should come out on their own.