Dental Extraction After-Care

Proper care and attention on your part will be an important factor in your rapid healing. Please follow these instructions to ensure the best results after a dental extraction.

Bleeding
Keep the gauze pack in your mouth for at least the next hour. Don't chew on the gauze. The surgery site will continue to "ooze" over the next day or so. You may find drops of blood on your pillow when you wake up tomorrow morning. This is normal. To control normal bleeding, damp gauze pads or damp tea bags may be placed over the extraction and firm pressure applied until bleeding slows. Should bleeding become heavy, call our office.

Pain
Discomfort following surgery is normal. The medication should make the pain bearable. The discomfort may be at its greatest in the first 24 hours. Pain medication should be taken as soon after surgery as possible. Take medication exactly as prescribed on the bottle.

  • Do not take medication on an empty stomach.
  • Do not use carbonated drinks to take medication.

If rash, itching, difficulty in breathing, or nausea occurs, stop taking the medication and call our office. If pain continues for more than 5 days, return to our office.

Swelling
Swelling is normal, but can be reduced by placing ice packs around the jaw immediately after surgery. Packs should be placed for 10 minutes on your face, then 10 minutes off. Repeat this cycle for up to 8 hours. Keep your head elevated above your heart for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling.

Mouth Care
For the first day, do not spit or flush out your mouth. If you do, you will dislodge the blood clot that naturally forms.

  • Do not smoke for 36-48 hours.
  • Do not drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages for 24-48 hours.
  • Do not drink any liquids through a straw for at least 24 hours following surgery. If you do, it may lead to a "dry socket."
  • Do not brush or floss in the area of the surgery for 24 hours.

Starting tomorrow, you must begin rinsing your mouth gently with lukewarm salt water. The cleaner you keep your teeth and gums, the less chance of infection. Rinse your mouth at least 3 to 4 times each day, and especially after you eat something. Remember, do not spit.

Diet/Exercise
Try to eat on the opposite side of the surgery. Eat softer food for a few days. If you find eating your regular diet is too difficult, supplement your diet with liquids, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ensure. Remember that proper healing requires nutritious food, plenty of water and rest. Avoid vigorous exercise for at least 3 days.

Infection
If a fever, bad taste or odor appears, along with swelling or discomfort, return to the office.