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While you are taking excellent care of your smile with your daily brushing and flossing routine, there are times when you may need to give up some of your pearly whites. Advanced gum disease, mouth injury or trauma, advanced tooth decay and preparation for dentures are all common reasons why you might need to have multiple teeth extracted. In most cases the extraction procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Your oral surgeon might recommend that you be sedated for your own comfort. If this is the case you will need to arrange to have someone drive you and have someone at home that can help you for a few days while you get back on your feet.

It’s not uncommon for the incisions to weep a little blood for the first few days. Before the procedure you can buy some sterile gauze. You can place a little folded gauze in your mouth and bite down lightly to help absorb the blood. Later you can gently rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water. This will help wash away residual blood and keep the incisions clean.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You should avoid drinking through a straw as the suction could potentially dislodge a blood clot at the incision site. Avoid alcohol and carbonated beverages as well as hot and cold drinks. You will need to stick to a soft foods diet until the incisions are completely healed. You may want to stock up in advance on soft foods you enjoy like yogurt, mashed potatoes and applesauce. Protein helps tissue healing so you may want to have a few blender recipes that can help you get your protein in.

During your recovery, you will also be using prescription pain killers or anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain management. These may make you groggy so beware of driving or operating machinery.

Tobacco use can interfere with wound healing and recovery. If you use tobacco, consider checking with your doctor in advance to find a tobacco cessation program that may be right for you. Choose a program that doesn’t involve the use of nicotine gum or lozenges as these can also irritate gum tissue.

If you think you might need a tooth extracted or have questions about how to prepare for an extraction, we invite you to call our friendly team at Midlothian Dental Arts at 804-419-5155 and let us help restore your smile!