Extractions Healing After Tooth Extraction

Healing After Tooth Extraction


The timeframe for healing after a tooth extraction will vary for a few different reasons. For more complicated tooth extractions, healing time can be expected to be longer. For example, it takes longer to recover from the extraction of a very large tooth like a wisdom tooth than it does to recover from a baby tooth extraction. The overall health of each patient also influences healing, along with such variables as age and personal habits. Patients who smoke face longer healing times along with a greater risk of complications, though there are other habits and factors that increase the risk of complications as well. The healing process will also be extended for patients who have active gum disease or if there is infection in the oral cavity. In many cases, these conditions will require supplemental treatments along with the tooth extraction, like periodontal treatments or root canals.


In the initial healing stages, for about the first day after a tooth extraction, a blood clot is forming in the tooth socket that once housed the tooth. This clot initiates the healing process as the extraction site stops bleeding. As the site heals, post-operative discomfort will lessen, though the area near the socket might remain tender or visible irritated for a bit longer. It’s also common for the tissues of the face and the tissues at the extraction site to appear swollen for a few days. New gum tissue begins to form at the extraction site within a day of extraction, and, within a week, the blood clot is filled with tissue that is rich with collagen, called granulation tissue. This tissue overtakes the blood clot and is gradually replaced by stem cells that diversify and become bone, soft tissue, and other cellular material.


Immediately after the tooth is extracted, the tooth socket fills with blood, which begins to clot right away. This blood clot fills the empty tooth socket, reaching the height of the surrounding gums. The platelets and blood cells that make up this blood clot are held together by protein called fibrin gel, and, together, these cells initiate the growth of new tissue. As they attract new cells following surgery, new compounds form, and these compounds help produce new oral tissues. In short, the blood clot is instrumental to the complete, effective healing of a tooth extraction site. If the blood clot becomes dislodged, a condition known as dry socket will form, and the complex interplay of healing processes is interrupted.

These outcomes are often painful and could lead to destructive complications over the long term. Disrupting a very new blood clot could also lead to profuse bleeding in the mouth and should be addressed before it gets worse. The most common cause of a disrupted blood clot and resulting dry socket is the mechanical action of sucking, as in sucking a cigarette or vape or sucking a drink through a straw. It’s also possible to dislodge a blood clot during strenuous exercise or when rinsing the mouth or spitting out liquid too aggressively.


Following simple tooth extractions, it’s common for patients to resume normal activities the day after the procedure, if not sooner, though it takes much longer for the site to fully heal. Complicated tooth extractions will take longer to heal and may necessitate a few days off from work or school. Your dentist or oral surgeon can review more precise healing times with you, providing an estimate of healing in the overview of your procedure at your initial visit.

Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you might have, and make sure to listen to, and adhere to, the answers and any recommendations your dentist might provide. You’ll also receive specific instructions to help you heal efficiently, including dietary recommendations and guidance for behavior modification like quitting smoking.

Extractions Wisdom Tooth Extractions