You will need to take time off school or work immediately following your tooth extraction. Depending on your activities and how physically demanding those are, you may or may not be able to jump back into them in the weeks following your procedure. You will want to talk to your dentist about plans after surgery before you commit to anything, but your body will heal at a different rate than other people due to a number of factors.
Depending on the tooth the dentist removed and where the tooth was located, whether it was located above the gum or it was impacted below the will determine the wound size. More involved extractions will leave your mouth with a bigger wound that will take longer to heal. A wisdom tooth wound will heal more slowly than one of your lower front small teeth.
Everything from your age, genetic makeup, previous medical conditions, health of your surrounding teeth and gums, and smoking habits will all affect the rate at which you heal from your oral surgery.
- Younger people heal faster from trauma. If you had your wisdom teeth removed in your early 20s before the teeth had developed their roots, you will have a smaller wound. As you age, your body takes longer to heal and if you have a fully grown tooth removed, the time line will be longer.
- Do people in your family heal quickly or do they tend to develop scar tissue? Do you tend to get infections easily or are you less likely to suffer from side effects after procedures? You can use these experiences to help predict how your body will react after surgery.
- Are you diabetic? Do you have an autoimmune disease? If your body is already struggling with a chronic illness, then your body may take longer to heal from a tooth extraction. Your dentist should be able to help you predict any possible side effects after you talk about your medical history during your surgery consultation appointment.
- Do you keep regular dental exam and cleaning appointments? Do you have a strong at home dental hygiene habits? Are you struggling with an abscess tooth or a traumatic injury? If you start with a healthy mouth, then you are in the best possible place to have oral surgery to get your mouth healthier. If you are struggling with gum disease and needed to remove a tooth due to decay, then your mouth is still healing from those problems in addition to your extraction. If you have a serious infection extending to the root of the tooth resulting in its extraction, the dentist will need to monitor the healing to ensure the infection does not spread to the jawbone.
- Are you a smoker? If you are a tobacco user prior to your oral surgery and you resume smoking after the recommended 72 hours after surgery, then you are going to heal more slowly. The nicotine in your system limits your body’s circulation and decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your body will need more time to heal if nicotine is a factor.
Your healing process will vary and if any part of the post-surgery healing does not feel like it is progressing, then be sure to reach out to the dentist.
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