Post-Op Instructions – Tooth Extraction
Following a tooth extraction, it is essential that a blood clot forms to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the extraction; if bleeding or oozing continues after removing the gauze pad, bite on a fresh gauze pad for another 30-45 minutes. Repeat this process until the bleeding stops.
After the formation of the blood clot, it is important to protect it for the next 24 hours. DO NOT:
- Drink or suck through a straw
- Clean the extraction site or the teeth next to the extraction site
- Vigorously rinse your mouth
These activities can dislodge the blood clot and slow the healing process. To keep your blood pressure lower and reduce bleeding, limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours following the extraction.
Use an ice bag to minimize swelling and pain after the extraction. The swelling usually begins to subside after 48 hours. Use pain medication only as directed; if the medication does not seem to be working, please contact our dental office. If our dentists prescribe antibiotics, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all of the symptoms of infection are gone. On the day of the extraction, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft, nutritious foods. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, and avoid spicy foods. You can resume eating normally the next day or whenever it is comfortable.
Beginning on the day after the extraction, rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times per day (put one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water). To help keep food out of the extraction site, rinse gently after meals as well. It is very important to resume your normal dental hygiene routine 24 hours after the extraction; this should include brushing your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Resuming your normal dental routine helps to speed healing and keeps your breath and mouth fresh. You will be able to fully resume your normal activities after just a few days.
If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, a reaction to the medication, or continued swelling after 2-3 days, please call us at 601-783-2361.