Should You Have a Tooth Pulled When You Have a Cold?

Let’s say that you’re scheduled to have a tooth pulled on Wednesday. Monday morning you wake up with a stuffy/runny nose and you don’t feel as well as you usually do. You determine you have a cold.

Should you call your dentist to reschedule the extraction? Probably.

Here’s why: your dentist will undoubtedly want to provide you with some type of anesthesia for the extraction. It could be “just” lidocaine or articaine, but depending on how nervous or stressed you are contemplating the extraction – or how involved the extraction may be – your Plano dentist may want to provide you with sedation that could range from conscious sedation to general anesthesia.

If this is the case, your dentist probably won’t want you to come in for your extraction, anyway.

If your dentist feels that you’ll be fine for your procedure with lidocaine alone, you might be able to go through with the extraction. But you should call your dentist and explain how bad the cold is and the extent of the anesthesia the dentist feels he will give you.

By the way, if you have the type of cold that comes with fever or that achy feeling, if you have the flu or bronchitis, you’ll definitely want to reschedule your tooth extraction.

If you and your Plano dentist decide to go ahead with the extraction, follow his post-procedure instructions to the letter. You will want to rest at home for about 24 hours and eat soft foods.

The vast majority of extractions go well. But there is a chance that infection could set in and, if you have a cold, you might ascribe an infection’s symptoms to your cold, so be aware of the signs of infection:

  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Excessive discharge from the area where your tooth was pulled, in conjunction with excessive swelling and redness.
  • Shortness of breath, pain in your chest, coughing.

Full healing of the extraction site should take one to two weeks as new gum and bone tissues starts to grow to fill in the gap. You should know that having a space in your mouth probably will cause your other teeth to shift (over time). This could affect your bite, possibly even affecting how well you chew food. You may want to talk to your dentist about filling the gap with a denture, fixed bridge or implant.

Bottom line regarding whether or not to have a tooth extraction while you have a cold? Talk to your dentist. If you have a slight cold, your dentist may say it’s Ok to proceed. But if you have any fever at all, he more than likely will decide to postpone the extraction until you’ve been well for at least a week.

If you believe you need a tooth extracted and need it looked at, contact Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson by phone.

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