After Tooth Extraction

Unnecessary pain, swelling, and complications of infection can be minimized if these instructions are followed carefully:

Bleeding: The gauze placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for one half to one hour. After this time, discard it and replace with a new one as needed. A moistened, squeeze-dried, plain tea bag can be substituted for gauze. Remain calm, sit upright, and avoid activity.

Swelling: Apply ice packs and baggies filled with ice to the area immediately. The ice packs should be left on for 30-45 minutes every hour–for example: 20 minutes on and 5-10 minutes off. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. Additionally, after 36 hours, moist heat to the side of the face may help reduce the swelling.

Pain: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Naproxen (Alleve), or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) may be taken for mild pain. For more severe pain, a narcotic medication may be  prescribed, use only as directed. If you take it, do not drive or work around machinery. Pain may increase on the second or third day after surgery, but improve each day afterwards.

Sharp Edges: If you feel hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally, small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

Diet: Drink from a glass and do not use straws. The sucking motion and pressure can dislodge the blood clot. Eat soft foods and avoid surgical site(s) when chewing. Eat high calorie, high protein foods and drink plenty of fluids–at least 5-6 glasses of liquid a day.

Hygiene: Keep the mouth clean. No rinsing of any kind until the day after surgery. You can brush your teeth at night, but spit gently. Warm water mixed with a little salt can be used to gently rinse a day or two after surgery.

Activities: Restrict your activities for the first 24 hours after surgery. Rest quietly with head elevated. Resume normal activity when the surgical areas are comfortable, swelling is resolved, and a normal diet is possible.

Other Issues:

  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol for at least 3 days following the surgery. Clot disruption, unnecessary pain, and a higher chance of infection will be minimized.
  • Some discoloration or bruising of the skin may follow swelling. Moist heat to the area may help resolve the discoloration sooner.
  • Be very cautious while your lip or tongue is numb. Something as simple as eating can result in accidentally biting or hurting yourself.
  • Stiffness of the jaw muscles may be noted. Warm, moist heat and gentle jaw exercises–stretching or chewing gum–will be helpful.
  • Bad taste, odor, and the hollow space where a tooth was removed, will all resolve over time with proper hygiene–salt water rinses and normal brushing. Rinsing gently with mouth wash may also help. 
  • If excessive bleeding continues or any other unusually disturbing problem occurs following surgery, call Lakeside Oral Surgery at: Lakeside Oral Surgery Phone Number 231-947-4141.
  • If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery to make the necessary adjustments and relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.