Tooth Extraction – Post Op Info
To ensure that your tooth extraction heals successfully, follow these instructions from Seton family dentist, Dr. Jay Patel, carefully.
When to call us
It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a tooth extraction, but call us right away if you have:
- Heavy or increased bleeding
- Pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond 2-3 days
- A bad taste or odour in your mouth
- A reaction to the medication
- Marked fever
During the first 24 hours
It is important that a blood clot forms on the extraction site to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and speed healing. To protect the clot and avoid the pain of a dry socket:
- Bite on a gauze pad firmly for 20-45 minutes. Blood and saliva mix in the mouth and make it look like there is more bleeding than there really is. Some oozing is normal; however, after 1 hour, repeat with a clean gauze pad if oozing is profuse. The site could ooze for as long as 24 hours.
- Don’t spit, and don’t suck on candies or through a straw.
- Don’t rinse your mouth, and don’t brush or floss next to the site.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Avoid tobacco for at least 72 hours because it slows healing.
- Don’t sneeze or cough. Have sinus or allergy medication on hand if necessary.
- Limit yourself to calm activities and elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
- Don’t drink hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks. Also avoid hot or spicy foods.
To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended for 3-5 days.
To keep swelling to a minimum, use an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
The numbness will last 2-4 hours. Once it has worn off completely, drink lots of fluids and eat only soft nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side.
After the first 24 hours
Begin to eat normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
Resume brushing and flossing, but clean gently around the site for about a week.
If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
Reduce soreness and swelling, by applying moist heat. Swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
Further reduce swelling by rinsing your mouth very gently with warm salt water after 3 days. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water. Rinse 2 to 3 times a day for the week following the extraction.
If you have sutures, they will dissolve on their own in 2-3 weeks. If required, you may visit the office to have them removed after 2 weeks.
Dry Socket: Can occur if the clot is dissolved and lost prematurely. This usually happens around day 3-5. Pain and throbbing will occur and usually will resolve without intervention in 3-5 days. Call the office if there’s still pain after day 5.
Bone: You may feel a piece of bone work its way out of your gums. This is normal, call the office if you are concerned.