Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
tooth extraction aftercare

The Road to Recovery: Understanding How Gums Heal After Tooth Extraction

Are you feeling a bit sore and tender after having a tooth extraction? Taking care of your gums during the healing process is crucial for ensuring a speedy recovery. But with so much conflicting information out there, it can be challenging to know what to do and what to avoid. In this blog post, we’ll explore the essential dos and don’ts of caring for your gums after a tooth extraction, so you can get back to smiling in no time!

What is a Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction is a dental procedure in which a tooth is removed from the mouth. This can be done for various reasons, such as to remove a tooth that is decayed or damaged, to make room for orthodontic treatment, or to prepare for dentures or implants.

The extraction process usually involves numbing the area around the tooth with local anesthesia, then using special instruments to loosen the tooth and pull it out. In some cases, the tooth may need to be cut into pieces before it can be removed.

How to Care for Your Gums After the Procedure

After the extraction, it is important to take care of your gums and teeth to promote healing and avoid infection. Here are some dos and don’ts to follow:


  • Regular Oral Hygiene
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day (starting the day after the extraction) to cleanse the area and help reduce swelling.
  • Proper Diet & Nutrition
  • Eat soft foods for a few days while your mouth heals.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activities
  • Brush your teeth gently and avoid vigorous rinsing for at least 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Use Antiseptic Mouthwash
  • Use an ice pack on your face for 20 minutes at a time several times a day during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed to control discomfort.


  • Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcoholic Beverages
  • Avoid Brushing Teeth Too Aggressively or Using Floss Too Early After a Tooth Extraction
  • Avoid Eating Hard Foods
  • Avoid Hot Drinks


After a tooth extraction, taking proper care of your gums is essential to ensure that they heal properly. By following the tips outlined in this article – such as drinking plenty of fluids, using a saltwater rinse, avoiding hard and crunchy foods, avoiding smoking and alcohol – you can help ensure that your gums remain healthy while they are healing and increase the odds of a successful recovery. With good gum care habits in place, you can look forward to many years of happy smiles!

Get in touch with our Airdrie dentist today!