Extractions Post-Op

Please follow these instructions carefully to ensure successful healing of your extraction.


When to call us

It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if:

  • Heavy or increased bleeding occurs.
  • Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days.
  • A bad taste or odor in your mouth occurs.
  • You have a reaction to the medication.


During the 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 a dry socket:

  • Bite on gauze firmly for 30-60 minutes. (Blood and saliva mix in the mouth make it look like there is more bleeding that there really is. Some oozing is normal; however after 1 hour, repeat with a clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse. It could continue for as long as 24 hours.
  • DO NOT SPIT OR SUCK (examples; candy or straw)
  • Do not rinse your mouth, and do not brush or floss next to the site of extraction.
  • DO NOT SMOKE OR USE TOBACCO for at least 72 hours after treatment.
  • Avoid sneezing or coughing. (try to have allergy medication on hand if necessary)
  • Limit yourself to calm activities and elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
  • DO NOT drink hot, carbonated, alcoholic drinks. Also avoid hot or spicy foods.

To control discomfort take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended.

To keep swelling to a minimum, use an ice bag over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

When the numbness has worn off completely drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side of where extraction was completed.


After the first 24 hours

  • Begin to eat normally as soon as it feels comfortable.
  • Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently area the site of treatment 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 2-3 times a week following treatment.