Monday, December 31, 2018

Post-Extraction Swelling

We’re trusted tooth extractors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs. As an office that serves people of all ages, we’ve assisted lots of teenagers with wisdom tooth removal, ensuring they will have hygienic, healthily aligned bites. Although we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible, some swelling after this procedure is normal. We want our patients to understand why so they’ll be more at ease and better able to recognize if something does go wrong.

When a tooth is extracted, the jaw bone will be briefly exposed before the blood clots and seals the socket. The immune system recognizes this as a wound and triggers inflammation. This process prevents harmful bacteria that may have entered the socket from spreading to the rest of the body and concentrates white blood cells where they’re needed. Generally, inflammation is proportionate to the complexity of an extraction, so extractions done with incisions can be expected to cause more swelling.

In the initial aftermath of an extraction, we advise patients to limit swelling by applying cold packs. They should follow the fifteen-on-fifteen-off rule: never put an ice pack on the skin for more than fifteen minutes and always allow fifteen minutes to pass between applications. Swelling should peak within forty-eight, after which the patient can apply the same procedure with hot packs. If swelling is still increasing after three days, the patient should call us for assistance. Red discoloration is a normal part of inflammation, but if the tissue near the surgical site turns black or white, the patient should seek emergency care. In most cases, swelling can be controlled through conventional means and over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient.

Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.


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