What to do After Tooth Extraction?
For Control Bleeding :
- Bite firmly the gauze pack over the surgical area for, at least, 1/2 hour; then discard it gently.
- Some blood will ooze from the area of surgery for several hours and it is normal.
- Do not spit, or suck through a straw, since this will promote bleeding.
- When bleeding persists at home, place a gauze pad or cold wet teabag over the area and bite firmly for 30 minutes.
- Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue.
- Keep your head elevated on several pillows or sit in a lounge chair for 12 hours.
- DO NOT SMOKE for 24 hours after surgery because this will cause bleeding, pain and interfere with healing.
- Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 12 hours after the surgical appointment. Then use warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup of warm water) after tooth-brushing and every 2 hours.
Take Rest :
- Drink plenty of rest; at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid strenuous exercise during the first 24 hours, and keep the mouth from excessive movement, keep your head lifted on a pillow. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
- Use a liquid or soft diet high in protein.
- Drink a large volume of water and fruit juices.
- Do not drink through a straw because this may promote bleeding.
- Avoid hot food for the first 24 hours after surgery because this may promote bleeding.
- Eat a soft diet for the first 24 hours after tooth extraction.
- Avoid foods that require excessive chewing.
- You can resume a normal diet the day after tooth removal.
- Pain and Discomfort
- Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled by taking the pain medication your dentist has prescribed or recommended.
- Start taking your pain pills before the numbing medication has worn off.
- Take your pain pill with an 8 oz. glass of water and/or a small amount of food to prevent nausea.
Swelling and Ice packs :
- Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction.
- Swelling reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery, and usually lasts 4-6 days.
- Applying ice packs over the area for the first 24 hours (no longer than 20 minutes at a time) helps control swelling and may you more comfortable.
- Heat is not used for swelling.
- You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery.
- This is a normal response in some persons and should not be cause for alarm.
- It will disappear in 7-14 days.
- Stitches : If stitches were placed in area of your surgery, your dentist will tell you if and when they need to be removed (usually in about 1 week).
- Many times stitches are used which are self-dissolving (7-10 days) and do not require removal.
Call your Dentist or a Hospital Emergency Room if :
- You experience discomfort you cannot control with your pain pills.
- You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on gauze.
- You have increased swelling after the third day following surgery.
- You have a fever.