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 30–45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, insert another moist gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may need to do this several times.
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 alcohol or carbonated beverages for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot, retarding the healing process and increasing the risk of dry sockets. Limit vigorous exercise for 4 days, as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. You may gradually increase your activity, such as jogging or tennis, 5–7 days after your surgery.
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 will keep swelling to a minimum. Ice packs are useful for the first 48 hours only. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 72 hours.
Discomfort is normal after the removal of teeth. If you are not allergic or intolerant to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, start taking ibuprofen (also known as Advil® or Motrin®) as instructed by your doctor at the time of your surgery. If you are asthmatic, do not take ibuprofen unless you have tolerated it in the past. 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.
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. Start warm saltwater rinses on the third day following surgery.
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately.