Tooth Extraction: Aftercare

When it comes to dental procedures, tooth extraction is among patients’ most dreaded prospects. However, unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized through post-operative care. To give you the best chance of a speedy and painless recovery, Arcadia Dental Arts has prepared some instructions that you should do following extraction.


After surgery, slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not sit upright become excited or agitated, and be sure to avoid exercise.


Trauma created by the tooth extraction process can cause swelling. The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will be unnoticeable until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be reduced by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice has little beneficial effect after 36 hours, and can be replaced with the application of moist heat to the sides of the face.


For moderate pain, two to three 200mg Ibuprofen tablets may be taken every 6 hours. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside gradually every day.


After extraction, your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is also very important. In addition, you should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily.

Keep the Mouth Clean

No rinsing should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. Two days after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.

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