Instructions Following Dental Extractions

  • WOUND CARE: Do not disturb the area of the extraction(s). No swishing, spitting, smoking, drinking alcohol or carbonated beverages, or using straws for at least four days following surgery.
  • BLEEDING: A small amount of bleeding is common for at least a day or more following surgery. Before leaving your appointment today, a sterile gauze was placed on the extraction site(s) and you were asked to maintain firm biting pressure for at least 30 minutes. Extra gauze was provided to you in case of further bleeding. You may want to sleep with a towel on your pillow at night due to oozing and drooling. A small amount of blood in saliva looks like a lot of blood. Do not be alarmed. If you notice excessive, active bleeding from the wound(s), please do the following:
    1. Wipe excess blood from mouth with gauze, do not spit.
    2. Place a piece of the sterile gauze, slightly damp, over the extraction site(s) and maintain firm biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, you may try biting on a moistened bag of black tea.
    3. If none of the above controls the bleeding, please contact our office.
  • PAIN: We recommend you use the over-the-counter pain medication that you normally take for pain such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc. as directed on the bottle. Excessive or increasing pain after the third day following surgery is not normal, and you should return to our office for further evaluation.
  • STITCHES: If you received stitches today, the doctor has advised you if you need to return to have stitches removed or if they naturally dissolve.
  • NUMBNESS: You may be numb for as long as one to two days following extraction(s). If numbness lasts longer than this, please return to our office for further evaluation.
  • SWELLING AND DISCOLORATION: You may notice swelling following surgery which is very common. To help reduce swelling, apply a cold pack on and off in 10-20 minute intervals during the first day of surgery. Swelling is at a maximum normally for two days following surgery and can remain swollen for upwards of seven days. Discomfort may last for ten days. Bruising is normal following extraction and may last for several weeks
  • JAW STIFFNESS: You may experience some jaw stiffness for a few days following extraction. If stiffness progresses or persists for more than a week, please contact our office.
  • DIET: Soft foods and liquids are recommended. Drinking plenty of fluids and do not skip meals. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages and using straws. We also recommend avoiding nuts and fruits with small seeds such as strawberries and raspberries.
  • REST: Get plenty of rest and keep physical activity to a minimum for a few days. Avoid strenuous activities including exercise and heavy lifting.
  • BRUSHING and MOUTH RINSES: You may return to your normal oral hygiene the day after surgery. There may be some discomfort near the wound(s) that prevent you from properly cleaning your teeth, but you should make your best effort to reduce debris in the mouth. The day after surgery, you may use a warm salt water rinse to aid in the healing process. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water, gently rolling in your mouth, and drooling into the sink. Avoid swishing and spitting.
  • DRY SOCKET: Despite your best efforts to follow the above instructions, there is still a chance of developing dry socket. This is a condition in which the wound healing is altered. It usually develops 3-10 days following extraction and you will note an increase of pain. Patients often describe it as an aching pain that steadily increases and may radiate along the jaw and into the ear. Pain medications are often unhelpful. If you were to experience this, please return to our office for further evaluation.