Extractions Post-Operative Care Instructions
The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you’ll likely experience some swelling for the first
Before the procedure began, you were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic typically
leaves lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing
until the numbness has completely worn off.
Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, or
acetaminophen, can help significantly if no prescription was given to you.
To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack-20 minutes on, 20 minutes off – for the first 6
hours following the extraction. Frozen peas in a bag work well to form to your face.
A blood clot will form in the extraction site and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact,
avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not
Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an
upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.
Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery.
Smoking should be avoided, as it can possibly lead to a painful condition called dry socket.
Twenty-four hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with a warm salt water solution (dissolve one
teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water) gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit
carefully. You should do this 2-3 times each day of the week following the extraction.
If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and
signs of infection are gone.
Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery.
Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet
to soft foods like pasta, yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first 48 hours.
Drink at least 8 large glasses of water each day. Avoid carbonated beverages.
Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding, a towel on your pillow can help prevent staining if you
drool. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area. Bite firmly on the gauze. Change
gauze as necessary, and use them until the bleeding stops. If bleeding persists, you can also bite firmly on a moist
tea bag for 20 minutes. Be sure to call our office f bleeding continues or increases. Some oozing of blood is common
for the first 24 hours.
Be sure to brush and floss the other areas of your mouth as you would normally. But avoid brushing the extraction
area for 24 hours.