Post Op Instructions: Home Care Following the Extraction (Removal)
of a Tooth
- The initial
healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you'll likely
experience some swelling for the first 24 hours.
- Before the procedure began, you
were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic
typically leaves your lips, teeth and
numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing
for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has completely
- Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter
pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, is usually
can also give you a prescription for a stronger pain reliever,
- To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach,
can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack - 20
minutes on, 20 minutes off - for the first six hours following
- A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and
this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact,
extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink
liquids through a straw,
and do not spit vigorously.
- Blowing your nose or sneezing violently
can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you
have an upper
from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus
medication on hand.
- Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery.
- Smoking, or allowing
food particles to pack into the tooth's socket, should be avoided,
as both will significantly affect
- 24 hours following the procedure, you can rinse
gently with mouthwash or a warm salt-water solution (dissolve
of salt with
one cup of warm water); gently swish the solution
around the affected area,
spit carefully. You should do this 2-3 times each
day for the week following the extraction.
- If antibiotics
were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length
of time, even if all
- Relax as much as possible and avoid all
strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following surgery.
the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important
to the healing process.
your diet to
soft foods like
soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the
first 48 hours.
- Drink at least eight large glasses of
water or fruit juice each day.
- Keep your head elevated with
pillows to control bleeding. We will give you a supply of gauze
sponges to place
over the bleeding
the pad as necessary, and use them until
the bleeding stops completely. You
can also bite gently but firmly on a moist
tea bag for 20 minutes. Be sure to call our office
Be sure to brush and floss the other
areas of your mouth as you would normally.
The space left by the tooth
will feel a bit strange to you at first. Eventually, new bone and gum
by the extraction.
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