How long should you wait to exercise after tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is a frequent procedure that dentists often perform when a tooth can't be restored. Since the treatment consists of mechanically removing the tooth from its socket, the mouth is left with a medium-sized wound.
As expected, the person must have dental aftercare to ensure the wound heals properly. This also prevents it from getting infected.
Although most people can resume their normal activities right away or the day after, physical exercise must wait a few more days. Otherwise, the healing process might get compromised.
We'll discuss in this article how long you should wait to exercise after tooth extraction and what could happen if you don't wait.
Why should you not exercise after tooth extraction?
Right after the dentist extracts the tooth, the socket where it was located begins to bleed. Afterward, a blood clot forms inside of it. This blood clot is responsible for the entire healing process. Therefore, the patient must make sure to protect the clot to ensure that there are no issues with the healing.
Although the mouth is not directly involved in physical exercises, the clot integrity can suffer during strenuous working out sessions.
Exercise increases blood pressure and blood flow around the body. This can cause the tooth extraction site to begin bleeding once again. Furthermore, this can even cause the blood clot to dislodge. As a result, the area can get infected and induce a lengthier recovery period.
Recommended waiting time before exercising
Dentists usually recommend waiting for at least 5 - 7 days before exercising. However, this depends on the case and multiple aspects. Frequently, professionals consider how many teeth were extracted, their size, and their location.
Yet, patients must refrain from performing strenuous physical activities during the initial days post-extraction. This includes:
- Heavy lifting
- Running or sprinting
- Contact sports
Furthermore, avoiding excessive physical activities is also recommended if the patient is still taking any type of pain medication. Painkillers' effect works on the entire body. Therefore, the patient might get injured while exercising and not realize it due to the prescription drugs.
Lastly, in some cases, the procedure might involve extensive tissue manipulation. This is often the case for teeth associated with extensive lesions, such as tumors. When this happens, the patient usually must wait a month before exercising.
What could happen if you don't wait enough time?
Exercising while the affected area is still within its critical healing phase can lead to bleeding and dry socket. This can cause severe pain and prolong the healing time.
A dry socket is the most common post-extraction complication. As the name suggests, this condition develops when the blood clot dislodges. Therefore, leaving the socket dry and empty.
This leaves the bone and nerve exposed to the oral cavity. As expected, this condition is extremely painful. Furthermore, the pain can increase if the socket fills with food and bacteria.
Signs you need to stop exercising and wait a few more days
Usually, patients should be able to resume exercising without an issue after 5 - 7 days. However, in some cases, the body needs more time to heal.
If some of the following signs or symptoms manifest after exercising, it could mean that you should wait for a few more days.
- Loose stitches
It is highly recommended to visit the dentist if some of these symptoms begin to show. The dentist can examine the tooth extraction site and determine if there is an issue with the healing process. Furthermore, the dentist can provide treatment if exercising affects the clot or healing.
Is it possible to recover faster?
The cicatrization process and the time it takes are determined by the individual's organism and metabolism. However, taking proper care of the wound and having good oral hygiene can prevent any complication that could increase the healing time.
It is highly recommended to avoid eating small food, such as rice, that could get stuck inside the socket. Also, the person should avoid smoking after the procedure. This is because smoking compromises and interferes with the healing process.
Additionally, carefully brushing the teeth alongside the extraction site prevents bacteria from reaching the wound. Furthermore, the best way to keep the area clean is to use a smart toothbrush, such as the ones from Oclean. The Oclean Air 2 Sonic Toothbrush comes equipped with a gentle mode that allows the person to safely brush close to the wound without hurting the gums. This ensures that the plaque on the surrounding teeth is removed entirely and safely.
Patients should wait around 5 - 7 days after tooth extraction before exercising. Otherwise, there is a high risk of dislodging the blood clot that forms inside the socket.
This happens because exercise increases blood flow and blood pressure in the entire body. As a result, the socket might begin to bleed, and the clot could get dislodged.
If this happens, the person could develop a dry socket. This is a painful condition where the bone and nerve of the socket get exposed to the oral cavity. Moreover, it prolongs the healing time.
Although there is no way to make the healing faster to allow the person to resume exercising earlier, it is possible to prevent most complications. This is done through good oral hygiene, high-quality oral care products, and avoiding smoking during the recovery.