How to numb a tooth

by Donny Jeremy | Jun 7, 2017

Dental issues can lead to excruciating pain. There is those time you may get desperate to take care of things yourself. There are also situations where you are unable to get to a professional. So, you feel your only choice it to take those drastic measures and perform an emergency extraction. When that time comes, you will wonder how to pull out a tooth.

If you are talking about pulling baby teeth, especially if it is wiggly, it should not be too much of an issue. Unlike adult teeth, baby teeth are not firmly held in by deep set root systems. In this article, we will cover how to pull out a tooth in both a child and in an adult if it is an emergency situation.

How to numb a tooth

8 Tips and Methods on How to Pull out a Tooth Safely

1. The Wiggle

If you are thinking of how to pull a tooth, it is likely the tooth is already loose. Children are often impatient. But with some reassurance, you can get them to keep on wiggling. If you choose just to maintain the child wiggling his or her tooth until it finally loses the fight and comes out, there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Keep the child’s hands clean: A mouth is a trove of bacteria on its own. Add hands that touch all sorts of things, and you will only be introducing more.
  • A gauze is an option: Give your child some clean gauze several times a day and encourage them to give it a little wiggle for a few minutes. This will loosen the tooth more over time. The looser you can get it, the less painful it will be if you decide to just give it a tug in the future.
  • Keep the child’s mouth clean: Be sure to use a mouth rinse after a wiggling session to help kill any bacteria that has been introduced into the mouth.

2. Tooth Workout

When figuring out how to pull out a tooth, you will want a painless and natural means to do so. Another way to getting a tooth to come out naturally is by offering your child foods that will put stress on the loose tooth. One thing you need to be careful of when using this method is to be aware of the possibility of swallowing the tooth.

  • Go traditional: Tried and true, apples are often a suggestion for helping get loose teeth to come out. Children will take a bite only to find the tooth still in the fruit. Or, the apple put enough pressure on the tooth causing it to become very loose.
  • Small pieces: Things such as dry cereal or granola bars puts some pressure on the tooth. Meanwhile, the chewing action will get in some more wiggling action.

3. Extra Clean

Introducing bacteria into your mouth is, of course, a concern when wiggling a tooth. However, if you do not put your fingers in there how you will figure out how to pull out a tooth?

Well, a cleaner method to encourage a loosening of a tooth is to have your child brush several times a day. The forward and backward motion will not only help jiggle the tooth but keep the area clean too.

4. Adult Extraction

Unfortunately removing an adult tooth is way more painful and challenging. If you can avoid pulling the tooth yourself, it is a smart idea. Seeking the help of a professional instead of figuring out how to pull out a tooth yourself will be less painful. This is because they have anesthetics to help numb the area. They can also make sure to avoid or treat any infection. Also, be sure that all remnants of the tooth aren’t left behind. So, as we do not encourage extraction of adult teeth because of complications, you may find yourself looking for answers to how to pull a tooth in emergency cases.

  • First and foremost make sure your hands and any instruments you intend to use are clean. Wear gloves if you have them. Clean the tooth by flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Try to keep the tooth as dry as you can so that you have better leverage and can see what you are doing. Place rolled gauze between the cheek or lips and gums to help absorb any blood or saliva. Change it as needed.
  • If you can get your hands on some extraction forceps, it will be ideal. Take your forceps and grasp the tooth as close to the root as you can. This will give you the best chance to pull it in its entirety.
  • Use a slight rocking motion and pull towards the cheek.

How to numb a tooth

Aftercare

Once you have jiggled or tugged a tooth to freedom, take the time to give it some aftercare. After all, it has undergone some trauma, especially if you just pulled an adult tooth.

  • Use a small square of gauze and lay it over the tooth socket to help control any bleeding. After a few minutes, in less severe cases, it can be removed as the bleeding should have subsided. In more extreme cases you will want to change the gauze frequently until the bleeding stops.
  • Liquid diets choices can help minimize pain and decrease any further trauma to the area.
  • If you see swelling, consider taking an antibiotic to help with any possible infection.
  • Also for swelling or bruising: Use a cold pack for a day or two to help minimize swelling. After, if you experience stiffness, a warm compress will help.

To Conclude

We will all experience the need to have a tooth pulled. As a child, we can usually take care of it at home. Baby teeth are not deeply rooted and can be wiggled free with a little effort. Adult teeth prove to be more of a problem that can be accompanied by complications. Thus, if at all possible, seeking the help of a professional to aid you in the process is ideal.

Leave any positive or negative experiences for others who are considering extracting or loosening a tooth below.

You might have a pretty high pain tolerance, but when it comes to a toothache, the pain can be unbearable for even the toughest individuals. That’s why it’s good to know some easy home remedies for emergency toothache relief.

Those aches and pains seem to always hit you at the worst time. It might be on a Friday evening, so you know you won’t be able to get in touch with any dentists. Maybe it’s over a holiday when you could have several days before getting professional help is an option. Either way, knowing how to stop tooth pain fast can help you keep the discomfort at bay.

Toothache Causes

A toothache happens when there’s irritation to the middle part of your tooth, called the pulp. There are a few things that can be the root cause of your discomfort. They are dental decay, a tooth fracture, and gum disease.

Dental decay is what leads to cavities. This happens when bacteria in your mouth solidifies and turns into plaque. If you don’t see a dentist, it could end up getting infected.

A tooth fracture is when you get a crack in a tooth. That could be a single, large split or a string of small cracks. Causes include chewing on something hard, pressure from grinding your teeth, being hit in the mouth, extreme temperature changes, and age.

Gingivitis and gum disease happens over a period of time as the gums get inflamed by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. This is when you’ll notice sensitivity and bleeding from the gums.

Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

Left untreated, all of the issues listed above can lead to major problems down the line, so your priority should be setting up an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The good news is you don’t have to just live in pain while you wait for that appointment to come around.

Saltwater or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to rinse your mouth out. Swishing warm salt water around in your mouth can help remove food particles that may be stuck in your teeth, and the salt is a natural disinfectant. You may already have done this before to help soothe a sore throat.

Hydrogen peroxide is another good antiseptic to rinse with. It will kill any bacteria in your mouth, reduce plaque, and help heal bleeding gums. Just dilute some peroxide with water, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it out.

For either of these rinses, make sure you don’t swallow the mixture.

How to numb a tooth

Cold Compress

Some conditions can lead to swelling in your cheek and jaw area, along with the gums. Many times that points to an abscess, which is a pocket of puss that has formed in the roots of your tooth. Putting a nice cold rag or an ice pack on the swollen area can help reduce the swelling and numb the pain.

If you’re experiencing swelling, a fever, and red gums, it’s imperative that you see your dentist. Those are the signs of an abscessed tooth. If not treated, severe infection can spread and make things much worse.

Pain Relievers and Anesthetics

An over-the-counter pain reliever might be all you need for a reprieve from the discomfort. Take your choice of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen as directed on the bottle.

Some kind of anesthetic drops or spray is good to have on hand, as well. There are several different products that will allow you to apply a liquid or gel directly to the area that’s causing the problem. The medicine will numb the inflamed area.

Natural Remedies

Aside from salt for a saltwater rinse, you might have a few other items already in the cupboards that can provide some natural relief.

Don’t just throw away that peppermint teabag after you make a nice hot beverage in hopes of getting a little relief. Peppermint actually has some numbing properties that can help treat pain. Once you have used the teabag in your drink, wait for it to cool down a little. Then put the bag on the spot that’s hurting.

To mix things up a little, you can also cool down that teabag so you get a combination of the peppermint and a cold compress.

Do you have that box of baking soda you bought to start trying to brush with to help whiten your teeth? That’s not the only oral use it has. Mix a little bit with some water to make a thick paste. Then apply that paste to the tooth and gums where you’re getting the pain.

Baking soda will neutralize the acids in your mouth, which in turn kills bacteria.

You might have to go out and find this one, but if you’re looking for a natural remedy you’ll want to give it a shot. Clove oil has been used for decades as an at-home antibacterial treatment and has a numbing property that can help dull the pain. The chemical eugenol, which is found in clove oil, is also a natural antiseptic.

To use clove oil, just apply a few drops of the oil directly to the area where you’re experiencing the pain. You can also dilute the oil in some water and use it as a mouth rinse.

Don’t Forget Your Appointment

While all of these methods can help you get by without being in agony, if you’re experiencing pain for more than a day or two you need to see a dentist. That’s especially true if you’re having some swelling and bleeding gums.
The very best way to avoid ending up with a toothache is always going to be to practice good oral health every day and to visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings.

You might have a pretty high pain tolerance, but when it comes to a toothache, the pain can be unbearable for even the toughest individuals. That’s why it’s good to know some easy home remedies for emergency toothache relief.

Those aches and pains seem to always hit you at the worst time. It might be on a Friday evening, so you know you won’t be able to get in touch with any dentists. Maybe it’s over a holiday when you could have several days before getting professional help is an option. Either way, knowing how to stop tooth pain fast can help you keep the discomfort at bay.

Toothache Causes

A toothache happens when there’s irritation to the middle part of your tooth, called the pulp. There are a few things that can be the root cause of your discomfort. They are dental decay, a tooth fracture, and gum disease.

Dental decay is what leads to cavities. This happens when bacteria in your mouth solidifies and turns into plaque. If you don’t see a dentist, it could end up getting infected.

A tooth fracture is when you get a crack in a tooth. That could be a single, large split or a string of small cracks. Causes include chewing on something hard, pressure from grinding your teeth, being hit in the mouth, extreme temperature changes, and age.

Gingivitis and gum disease happens over a period of time as the gums get inflamed by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. This is when you’ll notice sensitivity and bleeding from the gums.

Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

Left untreated, all of the issues listed above can lead to major problems down the line, so your priority should be setting up an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The good news is you don’t have to just live in pain while you wait for that appointment to come around.

Saltwater or Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to rinse your mouth out. Swishing warm salt water around in your mouth can help remove food particles that may be stuck in your teeth, and the salt is a natural disinfectant. You may already have done this before to help soothe a sore throat.

Hydrogen peroxide is another good antiseptic to rinse with. It will kill any bacteria in your mouth, reduce plaque, and help heal bleeding gums. Just dilute some peroxide with water, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it out.

For either of these rinses, make sure you don’t swallow the mixture.

How to numb a tooth

Cold Compress

Some conditions can lead to swelling in your cheek and jaw area, along with the gums. Many times that points to an abscess, which is a pocket of puss that has formed in the roots of your tooth. Putting a nice cold rag or an ice pack on the swollen area can help reduce the swelling and numb the pain.

If you’re experiencing swelling, a fever, and red gums, it’s imperative that you see your dentist. Those are the signs of an abscessed tooth. If not treated, severe infection can spread and make things much worse.

Pain Relievers and Anesthetics

An over-the-counter pain reliever might be all you need for a reprieve from the discomfort. Take your choice of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen as directed on the bottle.

Some kind of anesthetic drops or spray is good to have on hand, as well. There are several different products that will allow you to apply a liquid or gel directly to the area that’s causing the problem. The medicine will numb the inflamed area.

Natural Remedies

Aside from salt for a saltwater rinse, you might have a few other items already in the cupboards that can provide some natural relief.

Don’t just throw away that peppermint teabag after you make a nice hot beverage in hopes of getting a little relief. Peppermint actually has some numbing properties that can help treat pain. Once you have used the teabag in your drink, wait for it to cool down a little. Then put the bag on the spot that’s hurting.

To mix things up a little, you can also cool down that teabag so you get a combination of the peppermint and a cold compress.

Do you have that box of baking soda you bought to start trying to brush with to help whiten your teeth? That’s not the only oral use it has. Mix a little bit with some water to make a thick paste. Then apply that paste to the tooth and gums where you’re getting the pain.

Baking soda will neutralize the acids in your mouth, which in turn kills bacteria.

You might have to go out and find this one, but if you’re looking for a natural remedy you’ll want to give it a shot. Clove oil has been used for decades as an at-home antibacterial treatment and has a numbing property that can help dull the pain. The chemical eugenol, which is found in clove oil, is also a natural antiseptic.

To use clove oil, just apply a few drops of the oil directly to the area where you’re experiencing the pain. You can also dilute the oil in some water and use it as a mouth rinse.

Don’t Forget Your Appointment

While all of these methods can help you get by without being in agony, if you’re experiencing pain for more than a day or two you need to see a dentist. That’s especially true if you’re having some swelling and bleeding gums.
The very best way to avoid ending up with a toothache is always going to be to practice good oral health every day and to visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings.

How to numb a tooth

How to numb a tooth

A trip to the dentist for a routine filling, root canal, or other procedure will likely require a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent you from feeling pain during your treatment. In most situations, the anesthesia your dentist uses will numb the tooth for 1 to 2 hours. Additionally, the following 3 to 5 hours may leave your lips, face, and tongue numb, which can be frustrating if you’re attempting to return to normal activities immediately following your appointment.

Having patience is the most common way to address the numbness as it will naturally wear away with time; however, these at-home remedies may help!

If no swelling is present, apply a warm compress to help increase blood flow to the affected area. In addition to using a warm compress, try massaging your lips to warm them, and increase blood flow. Avoid touching the treatment area directly, and always wash your hands before and after massaging your lips, mouth, and face.

Get Active

Ask your dentist if it’s safe to participate in physical activity following your dental procedure. Taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or even tacking a few chores around the house will help to reduce numbness in a natural way. Being active stimulates blood flow in the body, which helps to carry the anesthesia away from the injection site. The encouraging movement will enable your body to break down and metabolize the novocaine that was used during your treatment.

Take a Nap

While taking a nap is the opposite of being active, falling asleep can help to get your mind off of the fact that certain areas of your mouth and face are numb. Sit back, relax, and allow the numbing sensation to pass until the sensation wears off peacefully.

Ask For Another Injection

Some dental practices use medicine that can reverse the effects of general anesthesia. While this will mean another injection, a second reversal injection can also help to make the numbness dissipate twice as fast as just waiting it out. A reversal injection typically costs $25-$75, and most insurance companies will not cover the injection, due to the fact that it is not medically necessary.

Have Patience

Since different types of dental procedures require different amounts of anesthesia, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long your mouth will stay numb after a procedure. Additionally, other factors come into play as to how long the numbing sensation will last, such as your height, weight, and how fast your body is able to metabolize the anesthesia. Where in your mouth you needed work done also comes into play as the bottom jaw is a large nerve block that controls sensations to more areas of your face.

Have patience in allowing the anesthesia to wear off before making a big presentation at work, having a date with a romantic interest, or eating a big meal . You should be feeling like yourself in no-time.

Make a Follow-up Dental Appointment

While a local anesthetic following a dental procedure can cause lip numbness for two or three hours, prolonged numbness could indicate a complication. If, after five hours, you’re experiencing persistent numbness following a dental implant, filling, wisdom tooth extraction, or another dental procedure, contact your dentist. A follow-up visit may be necessary as lingering numbness after an oral procedure could indicate nerve damage or an abscess.

Contact Tompkins Dental today if you’d like to hear additional tips for speeding up the return of normal sensation following a dental procedure, or if you have any concerns regarding prolonged numbness.

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We all are aware that teeth are living; they can feel whatever comes in contact with them. The system of nerves and blood vessels passing through the teeth makes them alive. Eating huge bites of extremely frozen desserts causes minute toothache in many of us, it proves that teeth are alive. But what if one day, the teeth feel numb? Likewise, there is a loss of feeling and sensation, are the teeth dying?

An infected pulp and numbness

The tooth has many layers. The outer layer is the enamel; it is the white coat on the tooth. Then you have the dentin and the pulp. The pulp is the place where the living tissues exist. It is the flesh of a tooth. Our Teeth are alive due to it. Pulp comprise of blood vessels and nerves which trigger senses in the tooth. If the infection occurs and leads to tooth decay or gum diseases, the flesh is affected. Therefore, the tooth damages and can be numb.

Don’t let the teeth die

When the teeth feel numb, it’s an indication that there is something wrong. Your teeth need treatment before it dies completely. Schedule an appointment with the dentist before it’s late. A dentist can save your dying tooth. Things might get worse if the person delays or leaves it untreated. A numb tooth is a serious consideration. Several factors are responsible for this condition.

Reasons for teeth numbness

One reason your teeth feel numb is some sough of injury has affected the blood flow, nerves, or the root of the teeth. The damage in the blood vessels flowing near the mouth area will directly affect the teeth causing numbness. Another reason is tooth decay. When the tooth decay worsens, infection rises, and the teeth may die. It has to undergo treatment immediately, as the infection can spread in the gums.

Treatments

When it comes to treating a numb tooth, the dentist opts for treatment according to the patient’s dental conditions. A root canal is one option, to save the teeth. The root canal will result in a filled tooth and still used. A dentist can even opt for extraction, depending on the health of a tooth. Then after removal, the place will be filled by bridges and implants.

Thus, if you feel your teeth feel numb, consult our clinic right away. Schedule an appointment at Lonestar Dental Centre. To know more about us, call on 281-233-0333. We will be glad to help you.

Topical anaesthetic (aka numbing gel) is used to numb the gums or skin before an injection. In contrast, local anaesthetic is injected with a needle and numbs the nerves of the actual tooth (or teeth).

It’s not possible to use numbing gel instead of an injection. Rather, the gel is put on your gums beforehand, so you won’t be able to feel the needle glide in.

How does it work?

Numbing gel contains an anaesthetic agent. A q-tip/cotton bud or cotton roll (depending on location and dentist preference) is used to apply a small amount of numbing gel to the injection site before the injection.

How to numb a tooth

In the UK, lidocaine (aka xylocaine) at a concentration of 5% is widely used (for example Xylonor Gel by Septodont).

How to numb a tooth

Until fairly recently, benzocaine 20% used to be the most common topical anaesthetic. But because some people are allergic to benzocaine, many dentists now use lidocaine instead.

Does it really work?

Yes it does, but there’s a slight snag. It needs to be left on for long enough to take effect. Numbing gel usually starts working within 1 to 2 minutes for lidocaine (or 30 seconds for benzocaine). But in sensitive areas of the mouth like the palate, it should ideally be left on for longer for best effect: 2 to 5 minutes for lidocaine (or 2 to 3 minutes for benzocaine) 1 .

Does the numbing gel guarantee a comfortable injection?

Actually, most discomfort during injections is due to the local anaesthetic being given too quickly, as well as the bevel of the needle not being angled correctly. It is important to give it slowly and steadily to avoid any discomfort (although this also depends on which area is being numbed – some areas are much more sensitive than others).

So while the numbing gel doesn’t guarantee a comfortable injection, it can certainly play a big part, especially in sensitive areas of the mouth.

What types of topical anaesthetic are there?

Topical anaesthetic comes in lots of forms (spray, patch, ointment/gel, solution). The ingredients are the same, but they are good for different purposes. Gel is good for numbing the gums prior to an injection. Spray is good if you are prone to gagging, and can be used before x-rays, for example.

Some topical anaesthetics come in yummy flavours such as strawberry, mint, cherry, berry, tropical fruit, or bubble gum.

How to numb a tooth

I’ve heard about a numbing gel that can be used instead of injections. Is this true?

Topical anaesthetics are good for numbing the gums, but they’re no use for numbing the actual teeth. This is because they only numb soft tissues. Topical anaesthetics don’t really affect the nerves that transmit sensations from your teeth to your brain. To make them numb, a local anaesthetic injection has to be used.

For some people, topical anaesthetics can be a useful alternative to local anaesthetics for deep cleaning (also known as scaling and root planing), depending on how sensitive your teeth and gums are, and whether or not injections cause you a lot of stress.

Oraqix (2.5% lidocaine and 2.5% prilocaine) is a non-injectable gel anaesthetic that is put into the space where the teeth meet the gums in order to numb the soft tissues.

My dentist doesn’t use the numbing gel. What should I do?

Some dentists are really good at giving painless injections even without numbing gel. This is especially true for upper back teeth and lower front teeth. But if you’d like the numbing gel, just ask if they have it! It’s not impolite to do so, nobody is going to get upset if you say something along the lines of “I’m worried that the injection might hurt. I’ve read about this numbing gel, could you use something like that?”.

I’m allergic to ester “caines” like benzocaine.

Allergy to ester “caines” is more common compared to the amide “caines” used in injections. Luckily, because benzocaine is not absorbed into the body system, any allergic reaction is usually localised to the spot where the contact occurs. But if you have a known allergy to benzocaine, let your dentist know – lidocaine can be used instead.

Visit our dental phobia support forum for help, advice, and mutual support!

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How to numb a tooth

When you have a toothache, nothing else matters. The pain of a toothache, especially an abscess tooth, can be excruciating. With an abscess, your pain may radiate into your ear, jaw and give you a headache. Unless you are able to contact an emergency dentist, you may need to find relief on your own. You can try a few things at home to relieve your pain until you can visit an emergency dentist in Sacramento.
Stay Sitting Upright

Sitting upright will help because when you lay your head down the pressure builds up in your face, head and jaw. This causes added pain. Sitting up will not take the pain away completely, but will lessen it substantially.

Tea tree oil is a known antifungal and can be used for a variety of problems. One issue it will help with is a toothache/abscess tooth. Granted, it will not taste good, however, when in pain it is useful. You can apply the oil directly to the affected tooth/gum or add two drops to a little bit of water and swish around in your mouth. Then spit it out.

Garlic Salt & Water

Rinse with garlic salt and water and then spit it out. This can help numb the area.

Clove oil or a clove will help numb the pain. Apply directly to affected tooth/gum.

Gargle & Apply Paste

1. Gargle and rinse with warm salt water.

2. Mix together the following ingredients:

• Vanilla Extract
• A Medication you can Purchase for Numbing Tooth Pain
• Baking Soda
• A Crushed Up Aspirin

3. This should now be a thick paste that you can rub on your tooth/gums.

This paste will numb the area it is applied to immediately. It is true that the tooth pain medication is made to numb the area. However, it only works for a very short amount of time. The paste should work for a much longer period. This will give you relief until you have the opportunity to visit an emergency dentist in Sacramento.

An Alternative Paste for Those Who do Not Have the Numbing Medication

1. Mix together one teaspoon of each:

• Baking Soda
• Vanilla Extract
• A Crushed Up Aspirin

2. Apply the paste to your aching tooth/gums.

Save whatever paste you have left from either of these pastes in a covered container in your refrigerator to apply as needed.

Remember, these suggestions will not cure an abscess tooth or toothache it will just give you relief until you can see an emergency dentist in Sacramento.

In this Article

  • Reasons for Pulling Teeth
  • What to Expect With Tooth Extraction
  • What to Tell Your Dentist Before You Have a Tooth Pulled
  • After You’ve Had a Tooth Pulled
  • When to Call the Dentist

Having a tooth pulled in adulthood is sometimes necessary.

Reasons for Pulling Teeth

Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired. Other reasons include:

A crowded mouth. Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.

Infection. If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp — the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected with root canal therapy (RCT), but if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or RCT do not cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.

Continued

Risk of infection. If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant), even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.

Periodontal (gum) disease. If periodontal disease — an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth — have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to pull the tooth or teeth.

What to Expect With Tooth Extraction

Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. In some instances,В your dentist may use a strong general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure.

If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.

Continued

Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches — usually self-dissolving — to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Sometimes, the blood clot in the socket breaks loose, exposing the bone in the socket. This is a painful condition called dry socket. If this happens, your dentist will likely place a sedative dressing over the socket for a few days to protect it as a new clot forms.

What to Tell Your Dentist Before You Have a Tooth Pulled

Although having a tooth pulled is usually very safe, the procedure can allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. If you have a condition that puts you at high risk for developing a severe infection, you may need to take antibiotics before and after the extraction. Before having a tooth pulled, let your dentist know your complete medical history, the medications and supplements you take, and if you have one of the following (note that this list is not complete):

  • Damaged or man-made heart valves
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Impaired immune system
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Artificial joint, such as a hip replacement
  • History of bacterial endocarditis

After You’ve Had a Tooth Pulled

Following an extraction, your dentist will send you home to recover. Recovery typically takes a few days. The following can help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and speed recovery.

  • Take painkillers as prescribed.
  • Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad placed by your dentist to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket. Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood. Otherwise, leave the pad in place for three to four hours after the extraction.
  • Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Limit activity for the next day or two.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
  • After 24 hours, rinse with your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke, which can inhibit healing.
  • Eat soft foods, such as soup, pudding, yogurt, or applesauce the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.
  • When lying down, prop your head with pillows. Lying flat may prolong bleeding.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but be sure to avoid the extraction site. Doing so will help prevent infection.

When to Call the Dentist

It is normal to feel some pain after the anesthesia wears off. For 24 hours after having a tooth pulled, you should also expect some swelling and residual bleeding. However, if either bleeding or pain is still severe more than four hours after your tooth is pulled, you should call your dentist. You should also call your dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the affected area
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting

The initial healing period usually takes about one to two weeks. New bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap. Over time, however, having a tooth (or teeth) missing can cause the remaining teeth to shift, affecting your bite and making it difficult to chew. For that reason, your dentist may advise replacing the missing tooth or teeth with an implant, fixed bridge, or denture.

Sources

Weill Cornell Medical College, department of surgery: “Dental Extraction.”

American Dental Association: “Tooth Extractions.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Tooth Extraction for Gum Disease.”

WebMD Medical Reference: “Tooth Extraction for Gum Disease.”