After Tooth Extraction

Home Care Instructions for 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 after the your extraction. We suggest you change the gauze pad every 15 – 20 minutes and continue until the bleeding has virtually stopped. You may have to do this several times over the first several hours. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place a moistened tea bag over the site and bite firmly for another 20 minutes.

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 24 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. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. We often suggest taking a non-steroidal OTC pain medication such as Advil or Nuprin every six to eight hours the first couple days. Take any prescription pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 to 72 hours.

Call the office if your pain 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 consider a puree diet on the day of the extraction. You can eat most foods on the opposite side as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth after meals. Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after 3 days, or a reaction to any medication, call our office immediately at Wake Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Raleigh NC Office Phone Number 919-783-9920.