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 at least 30-45 minutes after the appointment. It is helpful to exert firm pressure over the surgical sites for 1 to 2 hours following surgery. This can be done by biting on gauze packing, which can be changed every 20 to 30 minutes. Biting on a moistened tea bag using the same time interval may be helpful for persistent bleeding. It is common to have slow bleeding and blood tinged saliva for 12-24 hours after surgery.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 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 unopened bag of peas or corn applied to the outside of the face by the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The majority of the swelling usually subsides after 48 to 72 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat soft foods normally as soon as you are comfortable.
You may resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the procedure. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids and exercise for the rest of the day, and elevate the head.
Swelling is normally expected after oral surgery and may be minimized by the immediate use of cold packs for the first 12 to 24 hours. Apply the cold pack to the outside of the face directly over the surgical sites. Do this 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off while awake.
You should begin taking pain medication before you feel the anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, ibuprofen or similar medication may be taken. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-4 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, a stronger prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
Drink plenty of fluids, at least six glasses of liquid the first day.
Do not rinse your mouth for the first postoperative day. After the first day, if desired you may use a warm salt water rinse. Gentle brushing over the surgical site is helpful for keeping the area clean as well.
Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the surgical sites heal, you will be able to advance your diet.