What Hurts More Top or Bottom Tooth Extraction

What Hurts More Top or Bottom Tooth Extraction

What Hurts More Top or Bottom Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is an uncomfortable procedure despite being anaesthetised throughout. So if you’re worried about your tooth extraction, your best option is to get as much information regarding the procedure as possible to calm your nerves and talk to your dentist about how you feel so they can set you at ease.

Tooth extractions can feel different for different people and the feeling will differ according to why they’re being done, so it’s not as easy as saying one type of extraction is more or less painful than another. However, your dentist will strive to eliminate all pain and discomfort from the procedure so you have nothing to worry about and can recover quickly, resuming your daily activities in a matter of days.

Is Tooth Extraction Painful?

Is Tooth Extraction Painful?

The idea of a tooth extraction sounds agonising, and if you attempt it yourself, then it will be. But getting a safe tooth extraction at the dentist couldn’t be more different. In some cases you can have your teeth removed under sedation at the hospital, although this is rare for adults; most of the time, you’ll have your teeth removed in a dental practice under a local anaesthetic.

Local anaesthetic is administered via an injection into the gums to numb the area surrounding the tooth that will be removed. This way, during the tooth extraction, you won’t feel any pain. However, as the tooth may need to be wiggled, or your mouth held open wide, you may feel some discomfort during the procedure, as well as pressure on the surrounding teeth.

Different types of tooth extraction may also feel different to others, and people’s pain threshold varies. Tooth extractions due to infection will involve sensitive, tender gums so may be more painful than a routine tooth extraction for some. Wisdom teeth can also be impacted or not erupt from the jawbone when needing an extraction which may take more time and be intricate, leading to a longer extraction process.

Whether one is more painful than the other, however, is largely anecdotal and can’t be determined for certain.

What Hurts More Top or Bottom Tooth Extraction?

What Hurts More Top or Bottom Tooth Extraction?

Similarly, neither the top nor bottom tooth can be said to hurt more in a tooth extraction, it depends on the procedure itself.

In some cases, upper (top) tooth extractions may be slightly less painful than lower (bottom) tooth extractions because the nerves and blood vessels in the upper jaw are often less dense than those in the lower jaw. However, not everyone will feel the same pain, and one top tooth extraction may be more or less uncomfortable than a second top tooth for the same person, depending on the nature of the extraction.

After the tooth extraction, you may feel more pain in the bottom teeth than the top when eating, especially if you’ve had a molar or wisdom tooth removed as this is where we normally chew. You should chew on the opposite side of your mouth to the tooth extraction where possible, and stick to softer foods that will put less pressure on your teeth, as they may feel sensitive after the extraction.

Why is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Why is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Tooth extraction is generally a last resort as dentists want to preserve existing teeth as much as possible for your comfort, however, in some cases, this simply isn’t possible.

Some reasons for needing a tooth extraction include:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Advanced Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
  • Tooth infection (abscess)
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Broken tooth due to injury
  • Crowding or orthodontic reasons create space for proper alignment of the remaining teeth

Most issues can be identified in routine, bi-yearly dental check-ups and booked, however, dental emergencies can also take place in which a person needs an urgent dental appointment. The emergency dentist will try to stabilise the issue but may extract teeth if necessary. Emergency dental treatment is usually more expensive than routine appointments, so stay on top of your dental health and health checks to prevent dental emergencies such as severe tooth decay and infections from occurring.

Wisdom teeth will usually be spotted by dentists or dental x-rays in routine appointments so rarely need an emergency extraction unless the pain from impacting the neighbouring tooth becomes too painful or the tooth becomes infected. However, not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Dentists don’t always recommend having wisdom teeth removed if they’re not causing any problems, as there are more risks involved with the extraction and aftercare than by leaving them be.

Managing Pain After Tooth Extraction

Your dentist will recommend refraining from intense physical activity during the initial 24 to 48 hours after your tooth extraction to prevent excessive blood flow to the extraction site, known as the socket. Getting your blood pumping too much may potentially lead to heightened bleeding and throbbing sensations in the socket.

To alleviate discomfort, you can take painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen. These medications not only help mitigate the throbbing sensation but also address ear or headache pain that may come with severe toothache, promoting a more comfortable recovery.

However, it’s important to avoid taking ibuprofen on an empty stomach to prevent potential stomach irritation. Additionally, consider using cold compresses or ice packs intermittently on the side of your face to help reduce swelling, thereby minimising throbbing pain.

Some people may also look to alcohol to work as a mild painkiller, but you should avoid all alcohol for at least 7 days following your tooth extraction to allow the socket to heal. The blood clot covering the socket needs to stay in place until the wound has healed to help it stay clean. However, alcohol can dissolve the blood clot, preventing effective healing.

For this reason, mouthwash containing alcohol should also be avoided until the gum heals after the tooth extraction.

Eating and Drinking After Tooth Extraction

Eating and Drinking After Tooth Extraction

After your tooth extraction, it’s crucial to be mindful of what you eat and drink to minimise pain and reduce the risk of infections. Steer clear of hot beverages like coffee and tea, and fizzy drinks for at least 72 hours, as they can dissolve the blood clot that plays a crucial role in preventing infections and facilitating wound healing.

During the first 3 hours post-procedure, it’s recommended to abstain from all food and drink to allow the gum to heal effectively, as food particles and liquid can wash away the forming blood clot and encourage the wound to keep bleeding. Once you start eating again, be cautious about certain foods that can cause pain, get stuck in the socket, and potentially lead to infection.

Foods to avoid for at least the first 5 days include:

  • Crunchy food
  • Crumbly food
  • Spicy dishes
  • Foods with seeds
  • Hard, chewy food

You’ll want to keep up your nutrient intake so it’s important to maintain a balanced diet, so you’re recommended to eat chicken and lentil soups with soft bread, scrambled eggs, fruits and avocado. The more protein, iron and vitamins you can maintain in your diet, the quicker your wound will heal as your immune system is working sufficiently to fight off infections and facilitate the healing of soft tissue.

Smoking After Tooth Extraction

Like drinking through a straw, the action of smoking can disturb your blood clot so should be avoided for the full week after your tooth extraction, or until the blood clot has dissolved and you’re comfortable eating and drinking as normal. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to prevent effective healing, so cigarette smokers should refrain from smoking until their gum has healed. Nicotine patches are useful for preventing urges and withdrawal symptoms, and the NHS provides useful advice for quitting smoking if you want to take the opportunity of not being allowed to smoke to stop altogether.

Didsbury Dental Practice – Manchester’s Number 1 Dentists

If you need a regular check-up or an emergency tooth extraction, Didsbury Dental Practice can help! Located in Manchester and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Didsbury Dental Practice can help you at a time that suits you with whatever dental issue you have.

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