Post-op Care - Tooth Extraction
Bleeding after surgery may continue for several hours. The best
way to stop bleeding is to place a folded, damp gauze over the
extraction site and gently bite for 30-60 minutes. Rest quietly
with your head elevated. If bleeding continues, use gauze for an
additional 30 minutes. Bleeding should always be evaluated by
looking directly at the surgical site. Pink or blood-tinged saliva
may be seen for 2-3 days following the surgery and does not
indicate a problem.
Swelling is the body's normal reaction to surgery and healing.
The swelling will not become apparent until the day following
surgery and will not reach its peak for 2-3 days. After this time,
the swelling should decrease but may persist for 7-10 days.
Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs.
Apply the ice packs to the outside of the face 20 minutes on and
then 20 minutes off while awake for the first 24 hours.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree
of discomfort. If you do not have an allergy to non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) we
recommend taking this prior to the local anesthetic wearing off.
More severe pain may require a narcotic pain medication. Alternate
Ibuprofen and the narcotic medication. First, take narcotic
medication then a couple of hours later take 400 mg (2 tablets /
200mg each) of Ibuprofen. Alternate these medications as
prescribed. While taking a narcotic pain medication you may not
drive or operate mechanical machinery. The prescribed pain
medication will make you drowsy. Once you feel like you can stop
the narcotic, use Ibuprofen or Tylenol. All medications should not
exceed the recommended dosage.
Discomfort should subside daily. If not, please call our
If a dry socket occurs (loss of blood clot from socket) there is
constant pain that may radiate to other areas including ear, jaw
and teeth. Symptoms of a dry socket do not occur until the 3rd to
4th day postoperative. If you do not have improvement during the
first few days following the procedure, call the office. A
medicated dressing may be placed if medications do not resolve the
To help prevent a dry socket avoid vigorous rinsing, sucking on
the wound, spitting, using a straw, smoking and exercising for 2-3
days after procedure. You may gently rinse your mouth with a dilute
mouth rinse of your choice after one day.
After General anesthetic or I.V. sedation, start with liquids.
While numb, patients should avoid hot liquids or foods. Patients
may have applesauce, pudding or jello. Once numbness wears off
patients can progress to solid foods, chewing away from the
surgical sites. Patients should avoid foods like nuts, sunflower
seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas.
Fainting precaution: If you suddenly sit or
stand from a lying position you may become dizzy, especially if you
have not eaten or have had limited fluids. Therefore, immediately
following surgery, if you are lying down, make sure to sit for at
least one full minute before standing.
The best way to prevent infection and ensure healing is to keep
your mouth clean. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal
beginning the day after surgery. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and
toothpaste after meals and at bedtime. Should bleeding resume after
brushing, repeat the use of gauze as described above. Do not rinse
your mouth the day of surgery.
For the first 48 hours you should rest and relax with no
physical activity. After 48 hours, you may resume activity as
Bad breath is common and will disappear as healing occurs. Two
to three days following surgery, white, possible hard tissue may be
seen in the surgical site. This signifies normal, healing tissue.
Complete healing of the extraction site may take 6-8 weeks.
Sutures will resorb or fall out on their own. It is normal for a
suture to come out on the day of surgery. If bleeding occurs
because the sutures have fallen out, bite on gauze to apply
pressure as described on the first page.
If an antibiotic is prescribed, take the tablets or liquid as
directed. Take the entire prescription until gone. Antibiotics can
be given to help prevent infection. Make sure to call the office if
a rash or other unfavorable reaction occurs.
Foods to Drink and Eat While Numb
- Ice Chips
- Milkshake (no straw)
Soft Foods When Numbness is Gone
- Mashed Potatoes
- Creamed Cereals
- Soups (be careful-not too hot)
Increase Diet as Tolerated