After Tooth Extractions

After extractions, it is important for a blood clot to form and begin the healing process. That is why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes initially after you leave our office. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 2 hours. Change the gauze every 2 hours until the bleeding stops. Do not change it any sooner than 2 hours, otherwise you may instigate more bleeding from the area. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not smoke for the next 7 days. Smoking may cause delayed healing, dry socket and increased pain. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, 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 48 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may experience some swelling and discomfort. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Apply for 30 minutes and leave off for 30 minutes. Continue this cycle for the next 24 hours while awake.

Take pain medications as instructed. The swelling usually subsides after 72 hours. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids for the next several days.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt water or prescribed mouth rinse following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water). Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.

The area operated on will swell reaching a maximum in two days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration quicker. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only).

A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.

If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours.

If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process. After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.