After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth has been extracted (removed), a blood clot begins to form in the socket to stop the bleeding and initiate the healing process. We ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment to help the clot form. After the initial 30-45 minutes, place a new gauze pad over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times until the bleeding or oozing stops. If the site is still actively bleeding after several hours, biting on a wet tea bag (i.e. Lipton tea) may help the clot form.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck through straws, spit, SMOKE, drink alcohol, or brush the area next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. When the clot does become dislodged or contaminated, your risk of getting a “dry socket” greatly increases. “Dry sockets” can be very painful so please take these precautions to reduce your risks. Again, DO NOT SMOKE for 72 hours.
After the tooth is extracted the site may be sore and you may experience some swelling. An ice pack applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Take any pain medications or antibiotics as prescribed.
Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. It may take a day or two for the antibiotic to become effective. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. A gentle warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day after 24-48 hours may aid the healing process.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately!