How Do You Treat an Infection Following Tooth Extraction?

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An infection after a tooth extraction is treated using antibiotics, according to WebMD. While a tooth is typically extracted to prevent the spread of infection from a dead tooth, in some people, especially those with weakened immune systems, an infection results after the extraction. Patients can lessen chances of infection by following all aftercare recommendations from a dentist or oral surgeon and by seeking treatment promptly when an infection occurs.

If infection is suspected, a dentist or oral surgeon evaluates the situation and provides a prescription for the appropriate antibiotic to fight the infection, according to WebMD. Some people with compromised immune systems must take antibiotics both before and after a tooth extraction to prevent infection.

Patients must avoid smoking and tobacco for several days after a tooth extraction to prevent loosening of the blood clot in the socket of the extracted tooth, according to WebMD. Smoking also lowers the body’s ability to fight infection, making it an important substance to avoid. The blood clot that forms in the socket of an extracted tooth is instrumental in providing a barrier to bacteria entering the gums and bloodstream. The sucking motion used during smoking loosens the blood clot and puts a patient at greater risk of infection.