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When Can You Eat Again After a Tooth Extraction?

tooth extraction San Diego

At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, there are times when we cannot save a tooth and we must extract it. Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime; however, there are times when tooth extraction is necessary. Our professional dentists can examine your teeth and gums to determine if you need a tooth extraction. Our goal is to offer you superior dental care that benefits your oral health and your overall health into the future.

Reasons why you may need a tooth extraction

There are many reasons why you may need a tooth extraction:

  • Crowded teeth: When there’s not enough room in the mouth for teeth to erupt, it can lead to impacted wisdom teeth.

  • Severe damage: This damage can be caused by trauma, injury, or tooth decay.

  • Infection: If there is tooth decay or damage that extends deep into the pulp chamber – the center of a tooth which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues – can develop an infection. A root canal is usually the best option, but when an infection is severe, tooth extraction may also be the right treatment option. For those with compromised immune systems, any risk of infection may be reason enough for our oral surgeon to extract a tooth.

  • Presence of tooth decay or gum disease: Because these molars are found far back in the mouth, it can be difficult to clean them properly.

The tooth extraction process

Our professional oral surgeons perform tooth extractions at our San Diego, CA office. Before we pull the tooth, local anesthesia is used to numb the area. If the tooth is impacted, we will have to remove the gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth by cutting it away. Next, we gently grasp the tooth and rock it back and forth to release it from the jaw. When this doesn’t work, the tooth may need to be extracted in several pieces. Once we extract the tooth, a blood clot forms inside the socket. We apply a gauze pad to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes, we may need to apply stitches to close the gum edges. We will provide post-op instructions that include what to eat and for how long to maintain that diet after tooth extraction.

How soon can I eat after tooth extraction?

Immediately following your tooth extraction and while recovering, you will need to start with only liquids or soft foods (for the first 24 to 48 hours). You should not be chewing any food, which can lead to pain. Some examples of foods that you can eat immediately following tooth extraction include yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, blended soups, pudding, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and Jell-O. It’s also important to avoid smoking for at least three days following extraction as it increases your risk of developing dry socket, which is a painful situation where your blood clot fails to develop properly or dislodges while you’re healing.

As you continue to recover, you can slowly re-incorporate other foods into your eating routine. On day three, you can try semisoft foods, such as scrambled eggs or oatmeal. If you can eat these foods without pain, you can move on to solid foods, such as fruit, chicken, or vegetables. Most of our patients at Dental Express in San Diego, CA can resume normal eating within a week following their tooth extraction.

Learn how to heal effectively following a tooth extraction

When tooth pain is affecting your daily life, our professional team at Dental Express in San Diego, CA can examine your teeth and gums to determine whether or not you need a tooth extraction. We use the latest dental techniques to remove teeth with the least amount of discomfort as possible for our patients. Our goal is to restore your oral health and to give you professional advice, including when you can eat again after tooth extraction. Improve your oral health by calling today and making an appointment with our professional team to discuss tooth extractions.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.