Exercising After Dental Procedures – When Can You Start?

May 20, 2024

You’ve prepped a protein shake, laced up your sneakers, and BAM – a dental emergency, like a tooth extraction, derails your perfectly planned sweat sesh. Hitting pause on your routine for a tooth extraction can feel like exercise exile if you’re someone who regularly hits the gym, is prepping for a new P.B (personal best), or training for a specific fitness event. But, there’s no need to worry as this break is temporary (1-2 weeks), and is actually an opportunity to come back stronger than ever. To help you navigate the post-dental-workout landscape, let’s break down how long you should wait to exercise after tooth extractions and other dental procedures, what activities are safe to ease back in with, and why it’s important to take it easy.

How to Keep your teeth healthy with nutrition

The Importance of Strategic Rest – Fueling Faster Fitness Comebacks After A Tooth Extraction

While it’s hard not to see the forced downtime as a setback, let’s spin it around and look at it from the other angle. You take rest days from regular exercise to give your body a chance to recharge and recuperate after a hard workout. A dental recovery period is very much the same, a time in which your body can heal, repair, and strengthen itself after a tooth extraction. After a dental extraction, your body is focused on:

  • Mending the surgical site after a tooth extraction.
  • Regenerating tissue to replace what has been removed.
  • Boosting blood flow to the extraction area brings nutrients & oxygen to facilitate healing, thereby reducing swelling and inflammation.
  • Your immune system is working hard to ensure no infections develop.

Just like with exercise, giving your mouth the time and rest it needs during this recovery period is crucial for the best long-term outcome from your tooth extraction. With this said, let’s dive into the details of how long you should wait to exercise after tooth extractions, and which activities are safe for easing back in.

24, 48, 1-2 Weeks? Understanding Safe Wait Times for Strenuous Exercise After Dental Work

The amount of time you need to wait before returning to exercise depends on the type of dental work you’ve had, including tooth extractions and oral surgery:

Minor Treatments

For minor procedures like cleanings or fillings, the recommended wait time is 24-48 hours. This allows the initial healing process to take place and minimizes risks of complications.

Major Treatments

Major treatments like tooth extractions and wisdom teeth removal are exceptions to the above 24-48 hour rule since they are more complex and need more downtime to allow your body to heal. This is not to say that you can’t exercise for the entire recovery period, but that getting back to more strenuous activities may need to be pushed back.

How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After A Tooth Extraction?

  1. In the first 24-48 hours, you should avoid any type of strenuous exercise, with gentle walking being an acceptable option. It’s at this time that a blood clot forms in the pocket where the tooth was extracted from, and is what stops the bleeding, protects the extraction site from infections, and facilitates healing (new tissue growth).
  2. 48 hours to 1 week after a tooth extraction, you can begin to introduce light-impact activities into your daily routine. This includes gentle movements such as light stretching, leisurely walking, or slow-paced yoga. These are ideal as they promote healing without exerting too much strain on your body.
  3. 2+ weeks in and you can typically resume your regular exercise routine with caution.

The key with tooth extractions is simply to avoid disturbing the blood clot that forms in the empty socket where your tooth once was. Strenuous exercise too soon could dislodge it, leading to a disrupted healing process and potentially prolonging your recovery time. We recommend taking a calmer approach to working out for a smoother recovery.

Get Expert Post-Dental Exercise Guidance At Tampa Palms Dentistry

Remember, the recovery period is only temporary! Here at Tampa Palms Dentistry, we understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, which is why we offer personalized post-dental procedure exercise recommendations during your follow-up appointments. Our post-operative instructions are designed to help you safely resume exercising without compromising your recovery. Have questions? Contact us today to talk to one of our friendly staff about your personalized post-dental recovery plan.

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