Tooth Extraction Post-operative Instructions

After an 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 steadily but not forcefully on a gauze pad for about 1 hour after the extraction. If bleeding continues after 2-3 hours, bite firmly on a tea bag for another 45 minutes. After the blood clot forms it is important to protect it especially for the first 24 hours. Don’t:

  • Smoke
  • Drink through a straw
  • Rinse your mouth vigorously or spit
  • Clean the teeth next to the extraction site.

Also, limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours. Apply an ice pack (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for 6 hours following the surgery if you wish to, in order to decrease pain and swelling. Try eating things which are easy to chew, not too hot, cold or spicy. You may feel some pain and have some swelling. The swelling should go down after around 48 to 72 hours. Use pain medication only as directed or take a mild pain reliever such as Nurofen and Panadol and call our office if it doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infections are gone. The next day you can: Begin eating normally the next day or as soon as it is comfortable. Gently rinse your mouth with saltwater three times a day (1 tsp. of salt in a cup of lukewarm water). It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours; this should include brushing and flossing even at the site of the extractions. This speeds healing and helps keep your breath and mouth fresh. You may have problems with opening your mouth as wide as you would like. Don’t force it. At this stage, apply warm and humid compresses on your cheek to accelerate the healing. Call us right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, increasing or continued swelling after more then 3-4 days. Some slight bleeding ( “Oozing”) is normal for a day or so following the surgery. If bleeding persists, apply firm pressure with a moist gauze pad.  Call our office if it doesn’t control bleeding or if the bleeding increases. Sutures will dissolve after a few days. At times, due to the closeness of dental roots or the closeness of the surgery to the nerves. A feeling of numbness may occur in the area of the tongue, lip, chin, cheek or gum. This sensation, if it occurs, is temporary and may rarely be permanent. Contact us if this occurs or if pain or swelling persists or if you have any question or concerns.