After Tooth Extraction

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

Bleeding: Sit upright, and avoid activity. The gauze placed over surgical site(s) should be changed every half hour until light pink. After 4 hours, if bleeding hasn’t slow to light pink, a moistened, plain black tea bag can be substituted for gauze.

Swelling: Apply ice packs or baggies filled with ice to the area immediately. The ice packs should be left on for 15 minutes and then off for 15 minutes, rotating for the first 24 hours. Warm moist heat after 24 hours to the side of face may help reduce swelling.


  • Mild – Take ibuprofen 200 – 400mg every 4 – 6 hours as needed.
  • Mild – Moderate – Take ibuprofen 400 – 600mg every 4 – 6 hours as needed.
  • Moderate – Severe – Take ibuprofen 400 – 600mg every 4 to 6 hours and Tylenol 500mg every 6 hours as needed.
  • Severe – Take ibuprofen 400 – 600mg every 4 to 6 hours with Norco 5/325, as directed as needed for pain.

Clove Oil Drops If given, clove oil drops can be used up to 4 times a day. Place 1-2 drops in sore area as needed for a natural pain reliever. 

Diet: Eat soft foods and avoid the surgical site(s) when chewing. Drink from a glass and do not use straws for five days. The sucking motion and pressure can dislodge the blood clot.

Hygiene: Keep the mouth clean. You can brush your teeth at night, but spit gently. No rinsing of any kind on the day of surgery. Warm water, mixed with a little salt, can be used to gently rinse the day after surgery. If prescribed a mouth rinse, start using the day after surgery and follow directions on bottle. 

Activities: Restrict your activities for the first 24 hours after surgery. Rest quietly with head elevated. Resume normal activity when the surgical sites are comfortable.

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 weeks. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

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.