After Tooth Extraction

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING SURGERY

Bite firmly on the gauze pad placed by the surgical assistant for at least 30 minutes. Once home, the pad can be gently removed.

Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area.

Take the prescribed pain medications as directed.

Restrict your activity the day of surgery and the following day.

Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed.

DO NOT DRIVE FOR 16 HOURS IF YOU HAD IV SEDATION OR GENERAL ANESTHESIA.

BLEEDING

A small amount of bleeding is normal. This is generally controlled by keeping steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze pad placed by the surgical assistant. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and assists the formation of a clot. Once home, the pad can be gently removed. If bleeding persists, place a fresh gauze pad over the area and apply pressure by biting firmly for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues in spite of the above, moisten a tea bag in cold water and place the bag over the area, biting firmly for 30 minutes. Lying down with your head raised on several pillows also helps to stop bleeding. If you are unable to control excessive bleeding, call our office.

After 24 hours some minor bleeding may persist and it is not unusual to find a stain of saliva mixed with blood on your pillow. If necessary, resume the use of gauze pads. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously begin oral hygiene.

SWELLING

The day of your procedure and the day following ice packs applied for 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off, will aid in controlling the amount of swelling, but will not prevent it completely. Medications that aid in the reduction of swelling may have been prescribed and should be taken as instructed by your doctor. Swelling will usually peak two to four days after surgery.

After 24 hours it may be helpful to apply moist heat to the swollen area. Use caution with heating pads, as some may burn facial skin.

PAIN

Immediately following procedure begin taking medication as prescribed by your doctor. It is best to take the initial dose before the anesthesia wears off. Don’t be afraid to use the medications as it is designed to make those first days after surgery more comfortable. When taking oral medication, drink at least 1/2 cup of water or juice to aid in absorption and reduce stomach irritation.

After 24 hours continue to take your medication if pain persists. Unusual side effects from the medication should be reported to your doctor.

ORAL HYGIENE

The day of surgery avoid rinsing or spitting, as this may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.

The day after surgery begin rinsing every four to six hours, especially after meals, with a solution of warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1/2 glass of lukewarm water). Continue oral rinses at least four times a day for the first week following surgery. Resume gentle brushing of your teeth the day after surgery. As tenderness decreases, you may resume your regular oral hygiene. Cleanliness is important for uncomplicated recovery, as food left in the surgery area may slow healing and promote infection. Avoid commercial mouthwashes as they may irritate the area and delay healing.

DIET

Immediately following procedure it is important that you drink plenty of fluids and not use a straw. Water and juices are good choices. Soft foods such as ice cream, pudding, gelatin, soups and applesauce should be eaten at meal times, if possible. If swallowing is difficult, meals may have to be eaten five to six times daily in small portions.

After 24 hours add more solid foods to your diet as it becomes more comfortable to chew. It is best to avoid crunchy, hard foods like popcorn, nuts and chips for one week following surgery.

NAUSEA & VOMITING

Immediately following procedure it is not uncommon to experience nausea or vomiting. Medications, anesthetics, diet changes and swallowed blood can easily upset your stomach. A small bland meal or clear carbonated beverage may coat your stomach and help alleviate your discomfort.