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Can I Exercise After a Single Tooth Extraction?

author image Arie Kimbell
Arie Kimbell is a dentist and a medical transcription editor. Based in the Dallas area, she specializes in health and fitness topics.
Can I Exercise After a Single Tooth Extraction?
Wait at least a week after an extraction before resuming full exercise.

Tooth extraction can occur for several reasons, including severe tooth decay, trauma, aesthetics, and preparation for orthodontic treatment. Over-retained teeth may require extraction to make way for the teeth succeeding them. Wait at least a week after a single tooth extraction before resuming your full exercise regimen.

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First 24 Hours

The general recommendation following any tooth extraction is that the patient not physically exert himself in the first 24 hours after the procedure. Any physical exertion or exercise causes an increase in blood pressure, which can cause the extraction site to actively bleed or ooze. The blood clot formed after the procedure could be displaced, leading to a very painful condition called dry socket. Also, if you have had sutures placed, they could rupture, which would significantly delay healing.

After First Day

Resuming your normal exercise routine might still take a few days. The Mayo Clinic suggests waiting a week before undertaking any strenuous exercise. If you are taking a prescription for painkillers or antibiotics, it may be best to wait until you are done with the course of medication, since these might come with their own set of side effects. Prescription painkillers can also mask any pain from pulled muscles or other exercise-related injuries that you might be likely to suffer. How soon you can resume your full exercise regimen will depend on your individual situation as well. Speak with your dentist before you restart on a full-scale routine. If it was a simple extraction that did not involve any cutting of bone and gums to aid in removal of the tooth, it might be OK to get back to your regimen after a week. If it was a more complicated surgical extraction with a lot of blood loss and tissue manipulation, you might want to wait for longer.

Signs You Should Stop

If at any point after resuming your exercise routine you find that the bleeding from the extraction site has increased or restarted, the swelling has increased or new swelling has appeared, or you have a fever, have increased pain, or the sutures have come apart, stop and consult your dentist before restarting. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded while exercising, stop immediately and rest. Call your doctor to discuss when you can resume full physical activity.

Nutritional Considerations

Right after your extraction, you probably will not be able to eat your normal quantity and range of foods. This means you are consuming not only fewer calories but also lesser amounts of all the necessary food groups. Wait until you can resume eating normal food to get back to your full exercise routine. Start off slowly and build up as you feel better and heal. If you have any doubts about when you can restart, speak with your dentist or doctor.

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