How Long Do Gums Take To Recover After Tooth Extraction?

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How long do gums take to recover after tooth extraction? This is a question that many individuals ask after undergoing a dental extraction procedure. Tooth extractions are frequently necessary due to pain and inadequate oral hygiene. According to one study, 37.5% of individuals undergo extractions due to pain. However, there are various other reasons why a tooth may need to be removed, including:

Keep on reading to familiarize yourself with the tooth extraction procedure, healing process, and aftercare tips to facilitate a smoother recovery.

How Are Teeth Extracted? 

The process of removing teeth can be quite involved and falls into two main categories: simple extractions and surgical extractions. Before we begin, we'll invite you to our office for an examination, including x-rays, to determine the best approach for your extraction.

Simple Extractions: 

If the tooth is suitable for a simple extraction, we'll start by numbing the area with a local anesthetic to provide you comfort during the procedure. Although you may feel some pressure, our goal is to minimize any discomfort.

Using specialized tools like forceps, lifters, or elevators, we'll gently loosen the tooth.

We'll carefully remove the tooth using forceps once the tooth is loose enough. Depending on the situation, we may decide to place a stitch to aid in healing and reduce the risk of complications.

Surgical Extractions: 

A surgical procedure becomes necessary when a tooth is situated below the gum line, or its structure is too fragile for a straightforward extraction. Surgical removal is a more intricate process, and it requires the use of local anesthesia to ensure your comfort.

After numbing the area, we'll make an incision near your gum line to gain access to the underlying bone and tooth.

Depending on the extent of tooth decay, it may be necessary to extract the tooth in segments. Following the extraction, we'll carefully stitch the gum back together since there will be an empty socket where the tooth once resided.

Blood will fill the tooth's cavity, forming a clot that aids in the healing process. Over the next week or two, you'll need to be mindful of your diet as the gums will be tender, and healing will continue to progress.

How Gums Heal After a Tooth Extraction? how long do gums take to recover after tooth extraction

The healing process of gums following a tooth extraction is crucial for overall recovery. After the decayed or broken tooth is removed, the extraction site undergoes various stages of healing. However, improper post-operative care during the initial stages can cause complications such as infection or dry socket – a painful condition.

The gum healing process typically follows these stages: 

0 - 24 Hours: Immediately after the extraction, a blood clot is formed in the socket where the tooth once was. This clot is vital for protecting the inner gums from bacteria and debris. Ensuring the clot remains intact is crucial during this period to prevent complications like dry sockets. Once the clot is formed, the gums and jawbone can begin healing with a reduced risk of infection.

24 - 48 Hours: Soreness and discomfort are common during the first couple of days post-extraction. Care must be taken to avoid activities that could dislodge the blood clot, such as using straws or consuming certain foods. Any bleeding or swelling experienced should start to diminish by the end of this period.

48 - 72 Hours: Over the next 24 hours following the 48-hour mark, gum healing and regeneration begin to occur, setting the stage for continued recovery.

After 7 to 10 days, new gum tissue will start filling the hole in your gum. If stitches were used to close the hole, they'll begin to dissolve around this time. In cases where dissolving sutures weren't used, we may need to remove them manually.

By this stage, you'll likely find that you can eat most foods without experiencing pain or discomfort. However, the healing process will continue for several weeks. It may take up to a month for the hole left by the extraction to fully heal with new tissue. Larger teeth, such as wisdom teeth or molars, may take even longer to heal completely.

How Long Does it Take to Heal After a Tooth Extraction? 

It generally takes about 3 to 4 weeks for full healing to occur after a tooth extraction. During this time, your gums will gradually heal, and any visible indentation in the gum will disappear. You can get back to your normal activities and eating habits within the first one to two weeks following the extraction.

How Long Will I Experience Pain After the Extraction? 

Pain management is a significant concern for most people after a tooth extraction. It's common to experience discomfort for a few days post-extraction, particularly while eating, drinking, or engaging in regular activities.

However, as each day passes, the pain typically lessens. Many individuals find that the discomfort lasts between 3 to 7 days, with decreasing intensity after the third or fourth day. In some cases, the pain may completely disappear.

Please Note: If the pain persists beyond the fifth day after the extraction or becomes severe, it's crucial to contact our office for further evaluation. Experiencing excruciating pain is not typical during the healing process.

What are the Tooth Extraction Aftercare Tips? 

Here are some essential tooth extraction aftercare tips to promote healing and minimize discomfort:

  • Follow your dentist's instructions: Adhere to any post-extraction care guidelines provided by your dentist. These instructions are tailored to your specific situation and are crucial for proper healing.
  • Keep the extraction site clean: Practice good oral hygiene by gently brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth with salt water or a prescribed mouthwash. Keeping the extraction site clean helps prevent infection and promotes healing.
  • Avoid certain foods: Stick to soft or liquid foods for the first few days after tooth extraction to avoid putting pressure on the healing site. Stay away from hot, spicy, or acidic foods that could irritate the extraction site of your tooth.
  • Take prescribed medications: If the dentist has prescribed pain medications or antibiotics, take them as directed to manage pain and prevent infection.
  • Apply cold compresses: Apply a cold compress to the outer of your cheek near the extraction site for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products: Smoking hampers the healing process and raises the chance of complications. Don't smoke or use tobacco products for at least 24 hours following the extraction.
  • Be cautious with physical activity: Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting for the first few days to prevent dislodging the blood clot and interfering with healing.
  • Attend follow-up appointments: Schedule and attend your follow-up appointments with the dentist to monitor healing progress and address any concerns or complications.


The healing timeline for gums after a tooth extraction varies from person to person. While the initial stages of healing occur within the first 24 to 72 hours, complete healing may take several weeks. By following proper aftercare instructions and seeking guidance from your dentist, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery process.

If you're in need of a tooth extraction or have questions about the healing process, don't hesitate to reach out to Springhill Dental Health Center in Mobile, AL. Book an appointment online today, or call us at (251) 265-7808 for new patients and (251) 343-1521 for all other callers.


How long do gums take to recover after tooth extraction?? 

The initial stages of healing occur within the first 24 to 72 hours, but complete healing may take several weeks.

What can I do to promote gum healing after a tooth extraction?

Follow your dentist's aftercare instructions, maintain good oral hygiene, avoid smoking, and eat soft foods to minimize discomfort and promote healing.

Is it normal to experience pain during the gum healing process?

Some discomfort is normal after a tooth extraction but should gradually improve within a few days. If the pain remains or worsens, contact your dentist for further evaluation.

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