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How to Handle Having a Tooth Pulled

How to Handle Having a Tooth Pulled

Gum DiseaseLast time, we talked about La Habra’s beloved fruit, the avocado, and its amazing health benefits. This week, Dr. Irwin is going to get back on track and talk about tooth extraction and how to prepare your gums for osseointegration after having a tooth removed.

Hearing that you need to have a tooth pulled can be frightening. A number of worries might flash through your head, “is it going to hurt?”, “what will I do without a tooth there?”, “is this going to be expensive?” All you can really do is relax and trust that your dentist will take care of you and stop it from developing into further health problems.

Why would you need a tooth pulled?

As we skimmed over in previous blogs, people usually have to have their teeth removed for a few reasons.

  • Overcrowding:  If a tooth is too big for your mouth, it makes it impossible for it to break through the gums. In this case, your dentist will remove it to keep from misaligning your other teeth.
  • Tooth Decay: A dentist will recommend pulling your tooth when severe tooth decay is present. When your tooth becomes infected to the center nerves and blood vessels, extraction might be needed to keep the infection from spreading further. If the infection isn’t severe, a root canal will be performed instead.
  • Gum Disease: Another reason a dentist might recommend pulling your tooth is if you have severe gum disease, also known in the medical community as periodontal disease. When someone has periodontal disease, it can affect the tissues and bones that hold your teeth in. At this point, it might be required to pull the teeth.

What to Expect

The actual process of having your tooth extracted requires a few steps, but try not to fret. Luckily, with advancements in dentistry and anesthetics, the procedure will be as painless as possible.

Before your dentist pulls the culprit tooth, he will inject a local anesthetic in your gums to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you’re having more than one tooth pulled or if you’re tooth is impacted, your dentist might recommend a stronger anesthetic.

When the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot will form in the socket and your dentist will pack gauze into the socket to stop the bleeding.


After having a tooth pulled, your dentist will send you on your merry way to recover at home. Recovery typically takes a few days. There are a few steps you can take to speed up your recovery process and reduce the risk of infection.

  • Bite firmly and gently on the gauze pad to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form. Change the pads before they’re saturated with blood.
  • Use ice to reduce swelling.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Limit activity for the next couple of days.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for 24 hours because you don’t want to dislodge your clot.
  • Do not drink from a straw for 24 hours.
  • Only eat soft foods. Hellooo, Ben and Jerry’s and Chicken Noodle Soup.
  • When lying down prop your head with pillows.
  • Continue brushing and flossing your teeth and tongue, but absolutely don’t brush the area where your tooth was removed. You don’t want the build up of bacteria from a lack of brushing and flossing to infect your socket.

Visit Your Dentist

Having a tooth or teeth removed can cause your teeth to shift over time, which will eventually affect your bite and make it difficult to chew. It’s best to look for replacement options such as dental implants, the most advanced tooth restoration treatment.

As mentioned in previous posts, for implants to be a permanent and effective treatment, osseointegration needs to take place (for the implant to fuse to the jaw bone). With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you keep your teeth and gums healthy after your tooth extraction procedure.

Most importantly, keep calm because Dr. Irwin in La Habra has all of your teeth restoration needs covered. If you need to have a tooth extracted and are looking for a restoration treatment, give our office a call at 714-784-5755.