What you should do following extractions and other oral surgery
A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is
normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for
several hours. Avoid unnecessary talking. Do not rinse
your mouth or brush your teeth for 24 hours. These
activities may hinder formation of a blood clot that is
necessary for proper healing.
Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a
time following anesthesia or if a "black and blue"
bruise should appear at the site of an injection. The
arm also may be "black and blue", swollen and tender to
touch due to the IV.
To control bleeding
Immediately following procedure keep a steady
pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the
gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce
bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth
socket. Gently remove the compress after the local
anesthesia has worn off and normal feeling has returned.
After 24 hours some oozing of blood may persist. It may
be necessary to resume the use of moist tea bags. After
bleeding has stopped cautiously resume oral hygiene.
To relieve pain
Immediately following procedure begin taking
medication as directed by your doctor to minimize
discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling is
back to normal. Application of an ice bag can also help
relieve discomfort. After 24 hours continue to take your
medication if pain persists, and use an ice bag if
To minimize swelling
Immediately following procedure apply an ice bag over
the affected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off
for 24 hours to help prevent development of excessive
swelling and discomfort. If an ice bag is unavailable
simply fill a heavy plastic bag with crushed ice. Tie
end securely and cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin
irritation. After 24 hours it should not be necessary to
continue with cold applications.
Special considerations following removal of
Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure.
Postoperative problems are not unusual, and extra care
must be taken to avoid complications. Severity of
postoperative pain will depend on the procedure and your
physical condition. Take medication for pain precisely
- Healing of the surgical site is variable.
- Swelling can be expected. Be certain to apply
ice bags as directed above.
- Difficulty in opening your mouth widely and
discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated.
- Numbness of lips and/or tongue on the affected
side may be experienced for a variable period of
Oral hygiene is important
Twenty-four hours after surgery, rinse mouth gently
with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt
dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal
or snack for seven 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 tooth brushing, 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.
In case of problems
You should experience no trouble if you follow the
instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you
should have any problems such as excessive bleeding,
pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our
office immediately for further instructions or
Remember your follow-up visit
It is often advisable to return for a postoperative
visit to make certain healing is progressing
satisfactorily. A follow up visit will be scheduled. In
the meantime, maintain a healthful diet, observe rules
for proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist for