How to take care of a wound following a dental extraction (tooth removal)

Emergency dentist London and emergency dentist Hertfordshire. Proving 24 hour emergency dentists in Essex


Having had a tooth removed, you’ve really only won half the battle. It is important to follow your dentist’s after care instructions to help minimize the risk of complications and to also aid a speedy recovery.

Here are some tips to help you feel better quicker!

  1. Expect some bleeding. You have a wound in your mouth and you shouldn’t worry if there’s a little oozing or weeping. If you are experiencing heavy and continuous bleeding, then roll up a clean piece of cotton gauze, a tea towel or tampon and place it over the wound. Apply firm pressure by biting or pushing down with your fingers-sustained pressure for 15-20 minutes will stop the majority of all bleeds. If it is still bleeding copiously after this, then you need to contact your 24 hour dentist or emergency dentist.

    Biting hard with cotton gauze can help stop dental bleeding
  2. Avoid hard foods, hot foods and drinks and rigorous rinsing of the mouth for 24 hours. All of these can allow the clot to dislodge, which in turn will lead to bleeding and potentially infections like dry socket.
  3. No smoking- be religious! Pack them away forever or five days as a minimum. It’s the most common cause for pain and infection following a dental extraction.

    no smoking after dental extraction
    No smoking after dental extraction
  4. Keep the area clean. Grandma’s favourite-2 or 3 spoons of salt mixed with a tumbler of warm water held in your mouth over the wound until the warm water goes cold. Do this 5 or 6 times a day, the day following the extraction, and continue for 5 to 6 days.
  5. A bit of swelling is to be expected- you’ve had a part of your body removed and it is part of the healing process. The swelling may increase slightly for the first 2-3 days and then subside quickly. Ice packs or a pack of frozen peas, can be applied to help. If you have an increasing swelling 3 days after the extraction, then contact your dentist for a review.

    ice pack to help with swelling
    An ice pack can help with swelling
  6. Again, some discomfort or pain is normal for the first 48 hours and it should respond well to painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol-avoid aspirin. If your pain is not reducing following the second day, it’s best to be reassessed or to contact an emergency dentist to check that there are no infections.
  7. Exercise- avoid any rigorous exercise for the next 2-3 days, especially if you have stitches. You can open the wound up or dislodge the clot-not worth the pain and your 6 pack won’t suffer in 2 days.
  8. Alcohol- avoid drinking for 24 hours following having a tooth removed. This can delay healing.
  9. Brushing-You still got to look after the rest of them, just avoid the extraction site.

What is root canal treatment?

root canal emergency dentist, pain after root canal treatment, 24 hour dentist of root infection

Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is a procedure performed to help restore a tooth when there has been disease, infection or inflammation of the root canal system of the tooth.

The tooth consists of a crown (the part of the tooth that you can see in the mouth) and the roots (the part that sits beneath the gum line and secures your tooth to your jaw bone). The roots contain a blood and nerve supply, and if the health of this system is compromised by bacteria (through decay or trauma) or irritation (cracks and fillings) then the blood and nerve supply can start a process of disease or necrosis. This typically is very painful, and only two definitive treatment options are normally available-extraction or root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment involves:

  1. Thorough assessment. This includes a clinical examination, x-rays and vitality testing (with ice pellets or using an electrical current).
  2. If a root canal treatment is indicated, the dentist will give you local anaesthetic to numb the tooth.
  3. A rubber dam is placed to help isolate the tooth from the rest of your mouth. This ensures that natural bacteria from your mouth cannot enter the tooth and that chemicals and tools used during the procedure are unable to enter your mouth or airways.
  4. Using a drill, the dentist will remove decayed tooth or fillings and gain access to the pulp of the tooth.
  5. Once the pulp has been accessed, he will locate the openings of the root canals, there may be between 1 and 4 normally.
  6. Using a special meter called an apex locator, he will determine the length of the roots, normally we like to ensure that your root filling finishes within 0.5-2mm of the tip of the root visible on the x-ray.
  7. The root canals are normally very narrow, and specialised tools are now used to widen and bore out the root canals to the previously determined length. This is termed mechanical preparation, and the aim is to form a well tapered shape and to debride the walls of the root canals to help eliminate bacteria.
  8. Whilst the dentist is performing the mechanical preparation, he will also be using chemical solutions to help further disinfect the root canals and prevent clogging of the canals with debris.
  9. At this point the dentist may place an antiseptic dressing for a few weeks prior to completion of your treatment to help further disinfect the tooth, or he may proceed to completing the root canal treatment.
  10. The final stage is placement of a permanent filling in the root canals. The dentist normally takes an x-ray to confirm the length and size of gutta percha points prior to sealing them with a special endodontic sealer paste. He can seal the gutta percha in a few ways, but heated sealing is a popular method where the gutta percha is heated to allow it become more flowable and thus flow and fill any nooks and crannies. A final x-ray is taken to assess the quality of the treatment.
  11. Once the root canal treatment has been completed you will still require a permanent filling or crown to seal the root canal treatment from the mouth and to give the tooth some more strength.

    emergency dentist root canal treatment

Throbbing toothache

Emergency dentist London and emergency dentist Hertfordshire. Proving 24 hour emergency dentists in Essex and Greater London


I don’t think we’ve met anyone who can ignore a throbbing toothache for a long time. There comes a point where painkillers stop working and the pain is continuous, incessant and debilitating. We often hear female patients say that child birth was less painful.

What causes it?

There are many dental issues that can cause a throbbing toothache, but the most common are:

  1. Dental cavities
  2. Dental abscess
  3. Root canal infection
  4. Irreversible pulpitis
  5. Trauma
  6. Acute sinusitis
Emergency dentist London and emergency dentist Hertfordshire. Proving 24 hour emergency dentists in Essex and Greater London
Throbbing tooth pain can happen at any time of the day, but is particularly more pronounced at night time

What to do for your toothache?

There are very few things that you can try, and if over the counter painkillers have stopped helping, it is time to see a 24 hour dentist. You could try the internet suggestions including use black tea, garlic, coconut oil, but in our experience if there is any relief it is very short lived and is not a substitute for ignoring the underlying cause. It’s throbbing for a reason!

Treatment will really be dependent upon the cause.

Your dentist may :

  1. Prescribe antibiotics
  2. Clean any cavities and place a sedative dressing
  3. Start root canal treatment
  4. Prescribe pain medication