After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times until the gauze has more white than red on it when removed.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, spit, suck on straws or candy, smoke, or brush the extraction site for five days. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area the first 24 hours after surgery will keep swelling to a minimum. Apply the ice pack intermittenly (on 30 minutes/off 30 minutes) on the face in the area where the tooth was removed. Leave it off at bedtime and resume in the morning until 24 hours after surgery. Swelling begins 24 hours after surgery and peaks at 48 hours.  It takes time for the swelling and pain to go away, but if it gets worse after 72 hours you should call our office.

Use prescription pain medication as directed for moderate to severe pain. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. Mild pain can be managed with over-the-counter medication, like acetaminophen/Tylenol, ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin, or naproxen/Aleve. Follow the dosing directions on the package and do not exceed recommended daily maximums

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable doing so.

It is important to resume good oral hygiene 24 hours after surgery. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. Use a salt water rinse (half glass water with pinch of salt) after eating for five days after surgery. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After several days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, increased swelling after 3 days, or a medication reaction, call our office immediately.