Post-op Instructions for Extractions
A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is normal.
Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours. Avoid eating, drinking, and unnecessary talking. Do not rinse mouth or brush teeth. These activities may hinder formation of a blood clot which is necessary for proper healing.
To control bleeding
Immediately following procedure...keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze pad placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently remove the compress and replace it with a fresh, folded gauze pad every half hour or as needed.
After 24 hours...some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, resume use of sterile gauze pads. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.
To relieve pain
Immediately following procedure...over-the-counter pain medication (Advil, Tylenol) may be taken to minimize discomfort. Application of an ice bag can also help relieve discomfort.
To minimize swelling
Immediately following procedure...apply an ice bag over the affected area. Use 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort.
After 24 hours...it should not be necessary to continue with cold applications. However, contact the doctor for instructions on continued care if swelling persists or if fever develops.
Oral hygiene is important
Eight hours after bleeding has stopped, rinse mouth gently with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water. Repeat every two or three hours for several days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site.
Resume your regular habits of oral hygiene, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.
Maintain a proper diet
Have your meals at the usual time. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids - with meals and in between. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.