Tooth Extraction Post Operative Instructions
After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. Always wet the gauze and wring it out before using it. Dry gauze may pull the clot out.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, drink with straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush your teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow the healing process. Limit exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area 20 minutes on/off will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling starts to subside within 72 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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 fluid 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 twice a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you will feel better and you can begin to resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at (847) 305-4184.