How Long Does It Take to Heal After a Tooth Extraction?

How Long Does It Take to Heal After a Tooth Extraction?


Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary for a variety of reasons. A tooth that is severely decayed or damaged beyond repair may need to be extracted. Teeth may need to be extracted for orthodontic purposes, such as to make more room in the mouth for crowded teeth.

Whatever the reason, if you have an upcoming tooth extraction procedure, you may be wondering what the recovery process is like. Here’s what you can expect in terms of how long it takes to heal after a tooth extraction.

How is a Tooth Extracted?

A tooth extraction is a relatively simple procedure. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area of the mouth where the tooth is located. The tooth is gently loosened from the socket and removed. A few stitches may be used to close the gum tissue over the socket while it heals. The stitches will naturally dissolve as the tissue heals.

Recovery From the Tooth Extraction Procedure

After your tooth extraction procedure, the following care tips are important:

  • After care. Your mouth may be numb for a few hours after the procedure, but the anesthesia will slowly wear off and you will regain sensation. You will need to bite down on gauze until the bleeding completely stops, which can also take a few hours.
  • Diet. While your mouth is still numb you should drink liquids only, but don’t use a straw. Drinking from a straw after a tooth extraction can cause a condition called dry socket, which happens if the blood clot is dislodged from the socket. A soft diet that does not require any chewing is best for the first 24 hours.
  • Rest. You should plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day following a tooth extraction. Keep your head elevated above the rest of your body to help control bleeding. Limit activity for the first 48 hours.
  • Medication. You can take over the counter pain medication if you have any discomfort after your extraction. Anti-inflammatory medications are particularly effective.

Healing After Tooth Extraction

It may take 1-2 weeks for your mouth to fully heal after a tooth extraction. If you received stitches, they will most likely have dissolved or come out on their own by the end of the first week. Depending on the reason for your tooth extraction, you may have a follow up appointment with your dentist for the next steps in your treatment.

After the first 48 hours you can begin eating more solid foods according to your level of comfort. Avoid chewing in the area of your mouth where your tooth was extracted for at least a week.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Extraction

Will I feel my tooth being extracted?

Local anesthesia is used to numb the area of your mouth where the tooth is being extracted. You won’t feel any pain, but you may feel some gentle pushing or pulling as the tooth is removed.

When can I go back to work or school after a tooth extraction?

Most patients are ready to go back to work or school the next day after a simple tooth extraction. In complex cases or if a large number of teeth were extracted, an additional day of rest and recovery may be necessary.

Tooth Extraction at Barkoff Dental

If you’re in need of a tooth extraction, Barkoff Dental provides gentle and effective removal of teeth. We provide a range of sedation options for patients who are anxious or need help to relax. Our minimally invasive procedures allow for optimal healing and faster recovery.

Call 516-921-1133 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.