Tooth extractions are routine at the offices of the Oral Surgery Consultants of Pennsylvania, but they are most successful when patients feel they understand what to expect. The most common issue for patients to encounter following extraction is swelling. Although there is little to fear in the long-term from this, patients can take steps to make themselves more comfortable.
It is often necessary to numb an entire jaw when extracting a tooth from it. This creates an unusual sensation which leads some people, especially children, to experimentally bite down on their numbed lips. Swelling is likelier if the extraction was complex, and it is also likelier when the patient irritates their soft tissues by biting on them. Biting repeatedly on swollen tissue creates a risk of breaking the fragile skin and incurring an infection.
If tissue does swell up within 24 hours of an extraction, patients may relieve it by pressing cold packs against the affected area. But it is important to not leave the cold pack on for longer than 15 minutes at a time, and to wait 15 minutes before reapplying it. After the swelling peaks, warm compresses are will be effective. This treatment will probably only be necessary if swelling is still significant after two days, which is more often the case with complex extractions.