Post-op Extractions Care
When to call us
It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if you have:
• heavy or increase bleeding
• pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days
• a bad taste or odor in your mouth
• a reaction to the medication
First 24 Hours
It is important that a blood clot forms on the extraction site to stop bleeding reduce pain and speed healing. To protect the clot and avoid the pain of any socket:
• Bite on a glaze pad firmly for 30 – 60 minutes. Blood and saliva mix in the mouth and make it look like there is more bleeding than there really is. Some oozing is normal however, after one hour, repeat with a clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse. The site could ooze for as long as 24 hours.
• Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
• Don’t rinse your mouth and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
• Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Avoid tobacco for at least 73 hours because it slows healing.
• Don’t sneeze or cough, so have sinus or allergy medication on hand if necessary.
• Lift yourself to calm activities and elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
• Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks, and avoid hot or spicy foods.
To control discomfort:
• Take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended.
• Keep swelling to a minimum, use an ice bag over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
• When numbness has worn off completely, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
After First 24 Hours
• Begin to eat normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
• Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for about a week.
• If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
• Reduce soreness or swelling by applying moist heat. Swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
• Further reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth very gently with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. Rinse two to three times a day for the week following the extraction.