Post-op Instructions-Extractions

When to call us

It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if you have:
  • Heavy or increased bleeding
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
  • If swelling worsens and makes it difficult to breathe or swallow, go to the emergency room immediately
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
To keep swelling to a minimum
  • Use an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
When the numbness has worn off completely
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
  • Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth, and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.  Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours because it slows healing.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities.
  • Elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks, and avoid hot or spicy foods.
To control discomfort
  • Take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended.
  • If you had sutures placed, they are dissolvable & usually dissolve within 2 weeks of the extraction.
During The First 24 Hours

It is important that a blood clot form in the extraction site to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and speed healing.

To protect the clot and avoid pain of dry socket:

  • Bite on a gauze pad firmly for 30-60 minutes.  Blood and saliva mix in the mouth and make it look like there is more bleeding than there really is.  Some oozing is normal; however, after 1 hour, repeat with clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse.  The site could ooze for as long as 24 hours.
To keep swelling to a minimum
  •  Use an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
When the numbness has worn off completely
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
  • Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth, and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.  Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours because it slows healing.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities.
  • Elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks, and avoid hot or spicy foods.
To control discomfort
  • Take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended.
  • If you had sutures placed, they are dissolvable & usually dissolve within 2 weeks of the extraction.
After The First 24 Hours
  • Begin to eat normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
  • Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for about a week.
  • If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
  • Further reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth very gently with warm salt water.  Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.  Swish gently for 30 seconds, then let the water slowly run out of your mouth; don’t spit.  Rinse two to three times a day for the week following the extraction.