After you have had a tooth taken out, you will probably be looking for ways to reduce pain and swelling. A method that we frequently recommend to our patients is using an ice compress placed against the outside of the cheek.
An ice compress will keep the blood vessels constricted. This, in turn, means there will be less blood flow to the area. Less blood flow means less swelling, less bleeding, and less discomfort (due to swelling). Still, it is possible to overdo it on the ice. Here is more information.
The Extraction Site Needs Some Blood FlowRemember the way your body heals is through utilizing nutrients to rebuild itself. Those nutrients are delivered by the flow of blood to the traumatized area.
This means that the suture site does need some blood flow in order to ensure adequate and prompt healing. Restricting it for too long, or to too great a degree, can actually have the result of slowing down the healing process.
Your Soft Tissues Can be Damaged by Prolonged ColdAlso, while you are trying to recover from one injury (the surgery), you do not want to accidentally cause a second injury. Keep in mind that your soft tissue-your skin, gum tissue, and so on-can actually be damaged by prolonged exposure to cold.
The most obvious illustration of this is frostbite. People who suffer from frostbite can actually end up losing tissue that has been too cold for too long.
You are probably not going to get frostbite from an ice pack. Still, the principle is the same: it is best to avoid keeping your skin and gum at too cool of a temperature for too long of a time.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (405) 733-4296 today.