Some pain or discomfort after a tooth extraction is normal. It should be manageable with the help of pain medication and should gradually improve each day.
Pain that doesn't steadily improve but lingers or gets worse should be reported to your dentist.
Some teeth are easy to remove and don't cause any type of discomfort at all.
But then there are others…
There are several reasons for pain or discomfort after a tooth extraction.
The main and most obvious reason is the extraction itself.
Needless to say, it causes some trauma to the tissue and bone to remove a tooth.
The area will be sore and possibly swollen. If you had a toothache before the tooth was removed, it will feel much better but still sore, just in a different way.
As the anesthetic is wearing off, you may feel some pain.
Because most dental anesthetics restrict the blood flow, when the numbness wear off normal blood flow gradually returns.
It doesn't make sense but, a partially numb mouth sometimes hurts more than a mouth that is fully awake.
If you have pain while the feeling is returning to the area, taking some pain medicine will make the wearing off period more comfortable.
The injection site can sometimes be very sore and make it difficult to open wide. This type of pain occurs more often after lower teeth extractions and can last for several days but should steadily improve. If you don't notice gradual improvement, call your dentist.
All of the above should be manageable with pain medication recommended by your dentist.
It is important to follow your dentist's directions to allow the area to heal properly.
The first 24-48 hours after an extraction are important and the area should not be disturbed to allow a blood clot to form and healing to begin.
Restricting your activity and a soft diet will likely be recommended.
Gentle rinsing with a prescription mouthwash to keep the area bacteria free may also be recommended after the first 24 hours.
Severe tooth pain that occurs 3-4 days after a tooth extraction could indicate a dry socket. For this type of pain you should see your dentist.
This article provides more advice on how to prevent a dry socket.