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 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another moist gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times for the first two days 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, drink alcohol 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 72 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. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling will usually subside after 72 hours. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. You can make your own ice packs by mixing 3 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol in ziploc bags and freezing to make a slush. These may be placed in tube socks that are tied together at one end, placed around the patient’s head and tied at the top. This will help it stay on the surgical site.  The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake, but allow face to rewarm between applications. For exposures on the roof of the mouth, popsicles or ice chips may be soothing.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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, but try to chew on the opposite side of the extraction site.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine the day of surgery. 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.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office.