Pulling a tooth – does it hurt?

How is it going to pull out a tooth? Does it hurt? What are the normal side effects after a tooth extraction? Here we do everything we need to do with tooth extraction.

Why do some teeth need to be pulled out?

Different reasons can be the basis for a tooth extraction. The tooth may have experienced a severe caries attack, an inflammation, dental loss or other injury. The dentist first looks at the options available to save the teeth, but sometimes the teeth are so damaged that it does not work. Before deciding to pull out a tooth, careful control of the X-ray is performed. The dentist and the patient together decide on tooth extraction.

Removable teeth can in most cases be replaced by implants, bridge constructions or prosthesis.

Common to withdraw wisdom teeth

At the age of 18-25 the wisdom teeth appear at the back of the jaws. The wisdom states do not really function and can often be an inconvenience. For that reason, many choose to pull out their wisdom teeth.

Why am I hurting the wisdom?

The wisdom teeth are tricky! Generally, they are very large and should penetrate on a small surface. In some cases, they also grow oblique and lay in unnatural positions. In other cases, they do not grow up completely, then the gum starts to grow over the dental surface and it can be really hard to keep clean.

These factors can lead to poor taste and smell as well as inflammation and in some cases infection. In inflammation and infection, the gum swells and causes pain. Sometimes it also feels like the throat swells up, and some get headache or fever as a result of the awkward wisdom.

Wisdom is difficult during the eruption phase

Discomfort like swelling and sensitive gums around the wisdom state often occurs during the eruption phase (= the phase of wisdom). The trouble usually lasts for a few days, then calm down. Often it is important to treat only the symptoms during the eruption phase. Your dentist may recommend appropriate pain relief and treatment for you after an examination. Note that it is not certain that the wisdom state needs to be removed even if it causes trouble during this period.

Treatment – to remove a tooth

Many people become nervous about pulling out a tooth. There is an idea that it is worse than it actually is. Removing a tooth is very common and the dentist has clear procedures for this treatment. In many cases, dental removal takes place with local anesthesia and we work hard to make your treatment completely painless.

In some more difficult cases, for example If the tooth is in a complicated position / inclination of the jawbone or perhaps lies in a locked hidden position, a surgical procedure may be applicable. In a surgical procedure, you may also get anesthetic but is a more advanced treatment and therefore takes a little longer.

The time after a tooth removal

Where the tooth has been sitting

Where the tooth has been removed, there is now a cavity after where the teeth were previously set. It feels and looks like a pit. The grouse may look a little whitish during the healing process. Then, this cavity becomes smaller and smaller over time, then completely healed again. It is normal that you get swelling and tenderness in the area after a tooth removal. Further information is given to your dentist.

Something white and tight penetrates

Out of this cavity where the teeth have been sitting before, one can find out that something comes out white and tight. This is probably a piece of tooth or bone that may have fractured when the tooth was removed. If it does not hurt you can be calm. The body itself will bump off the bone.


In an operation, the gum is sewn together. The stitches usually disappear after about two weeks. Sometimes it happens that a stitch can loosen out after a couple of days, and at the beginning it may come down to food in the cavity. If you are not particularly painful or awkward, you can calmly wait (unless your dentist has given you specific information about this). It usually heals well anyway.

How long does it take before it completely heals?

It usually hurts for up to a week after a tooth extraction. However, most people know that it feels better in the area already after 3-4 days. The cavity heals on the surface after about 1-2 weeks, but it may take several months before it completely healed. This also varies depending on the extent of the treatment associated with tooth extraction, i.e. if the dental removal included an operation or not. Generally, the mucous membrane heals in a couple of weeks and the jawbone takes a few months to heal.

Discomfort after tooth extraction

Bad taste, bad smell

Once you have pulled out a tooth, a crumbling odor may occur during the healing time. It is relatively common that sores during healing can give a special taste and / or odor.


It is common for bleeding a little during the following day after a tooth extraction. During the night we recommend sleeping with your head high to reduce the risk of bleeding when you sleep. To stop bleeding, after a tooth removal, apply a cotton pad or a folded handkerchief for about 30 minutes. Also, avoid rinsing the mouth during the first few hours. A wound should be tried to keep dry to facilitate blood clotting.


After treatment, the anesthesia will last for about two hours. When the anesthesia releases, it may hurt in the area where the tooth is sitting. There may also be pain in the jaws, which leads to difficulties in chewing and gambling. The first few days take pain relievers and often use antibacterial solution. Follow the instructions that your dentist recommended you. After a few days the pain should be over.


When a tooth is removed, it may eventually swell in the area where the tooth was placed. Some people may also get swollen in other parts of the face. Blisters can also be obtained. No problem. After one week swelling and any bruises should have disappeared. If you experience swelling in the throat, throat or especially difficulty breathing, you should go to a healthcare emergency department or consult your dentist.

  • Seek immediate help if you have removed a tooth and:
  • You get difficulty breathing because of swelling.
  • The pain after about four days increases instead of decreasing.
  • You can not use the jaws normally after a week.
  • You have fever that continues / increases after about four days.
  • It does not stop bleeding even though you used compress.

Good to think about

Cleaning and care after a tooth removal

In order to avoid infections at the wound it is important to keep clean in your mouth. Brush your teeth as usual but avoid accessing the area where the earlier teeth were put. Often it is recommended to rinse the area carefully with antibacterial solution (no earlier than 7 hours after dental removal). This solution is a chlorhexidine solution of 0.1% and is available in the pharmacy without prescription. You will then rinse during morning and evening as recommended by your dentist. Do not use toothpaste directly following rinsing with chlorhexidine solution, as you may experience a slightly lower antibacterial effect of chlorhexidine.

Food and drinks

After treatment, we recommend avoiding food intake until the anesthesia has been released. This is to reduce the risk of biting you in the tongue or cheek. Once the anesthesia has been released you can eat as usual. Try chewing on the opposite side as the tooth was pulled on. If there is any mattress in the cavity, try to rinse and gargle the mat bit with water. Secondly, you can take a cotton swab or gap brush and carefully try to remove the piece of food. Do not pour too much into the cavity! Ideally, you want the so-called blood clot in the cavity to heal as quickly as possible. Occasionally, the clot loosens and then increases the risk of trouble and worse healing.

Prosthesis / implant / bridge

If you have lost a tooth it is almost always a reimbursement. If the tooth pulled out is in a very visible place (for example a forehead), you can get a prosthetic denture on the same visit as the tooth is withdrawn. A dialogue can be applied to teeth that are slightly further behind and thus are not as visible. Then maybe it’s not as important with a prosthetic.

Most dental gums can be replaced by bridges and implants. Talk to your dentist about which option suits you best.

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