After Tooth Extractions

(302) 762-6400

There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.

Care immediately following surgery:

Rinsing/Spitting - Do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours.  The act of spitting creates a suction that can remove the healing clot.  After 24 hours, you may rinse your mouth gently using one-quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, especially after meals.  Continue rinsing for several day 

Bleeding – following extractions, bleeding is to be expected.  Moisten gauze pads and place over bleeding area and bite down firmly for twenty to thirty minutes.  Repeat until bleeding has stopped.  If persistent bleeding occurs, soak a tea-bag in cool water, bite down on the moistened tea-bag for twenty to thirty minutes.

Swelling – if swelling occurs, apply a cold compress to the operated area for 20 minutes on and off for 4 – 5 hours.

Pain – for mild to moderate pain, take a Tylenol - NO ASPIRIN

Food – a light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.  Soft foods such as pasta, fish, applesauce, and mashed potatoes are best.  Hard or sharp foods may cut or irritate the extraction site.  Avoid hot beverages, cold or luke-warm temperatures are best.

Bony Edges – small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gum tissue during healing.  These are not roots, if bothersome, return to our office for their simple removal.

Do not smoke or use any tobacco products, rinse with or consume alcohol (including mouthwashes such as Listerine), or spit for at least 24 hours.  These actions may result in loss of the healing blood clot, called a dry socket.  A dry socket will usually occur a day or two after the extraction, causing extreme discomfort.

Do not drink through a straw for one week.  This creates a suction that can remove the healing clot.

The proper care along with good home care will quicken your recovery and will help prevent complications. If any unusual symptoms occur or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.

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