After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth

A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. Depending on the number of teeth removed and the surgical requirements, it will vary from patient to patient. Certain types of medications may also affect the bleeding, and this will be discussed by your surgeon.

After a tooth extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That is 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 gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30–45 minutes. You may have to do this several times. You may also use a moist tea bag instead of the gauze if the bleeding continues.

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, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 3 days; too much activity will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from extraction site(s).

It is normal to feel some pain and experience some swelling after extractions. This may persist in varying form for several days. An ice pack applied to the area and resting with an elevated head will keep swelling to a minimum. Take your pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 72 hours. Call the office if your pain is intolerable. 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 fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately.