After Tooth Extraction
After 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 20 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, replace with a new gauze or place a tea bag (after you dip it in ice cold water) squeeze out and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may need to repeat if necessary. Always remember to drink cold liquids to help the clot seal.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke or drink carbonated beverages. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercises 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. The Doctor may suggest you use an ice pack. It will be applied to the area, on the outside of the cheek, which will help keep swelling to a minimum. The ice pack will serve no purpose after 24 hours. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually begins to subside after 48-72 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 cold fluids and eat soft cold food on the day of the extraction. You can resume a softer diet and hygiene the very next day.
It is important to resume 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 should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling beyond 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.
If an immediate denture has been placed, do not remove immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture. Use ice packs (externally) on the same side of the face as the operated area. Apply ice for the first 24 hours only. Apply the ice 20 to 30 minutes on and 20 minutes off as much as possible for the first 24 hours. Note that while Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken along with most of the prescribed pain medications, Tylenol should not be taken with the prescription as most prescription pain medications already include some Tylenol.
For severe pain use the prescription given to you. If your pain does not begin to subside in 2-3 days, or increases after 2-3 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.
Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day. Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm saltwater rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water.). After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.
Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet. The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
The area of the operation will swell. It will reach the greatest swelling in 2 days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. The application of the moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration 48 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 24 hours only)
A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.
If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with ointments like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If temperature continues, or is above 101 degrees, notify our office.
If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will want to see you the next day after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to relieve the sore spots may result in more severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.