Skip to main content

Post-Operative Instructions: Extractions


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 30–45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for 1 hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. If bleeding continues, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids and exercise, and elevate the head while lying down. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately.
  • If you have an immediate denture, do not remove it unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.
  • Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • After the first day, use a warm salt water 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.)
  • For severe pain, use the prescription given to you. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished. If the pain does not begin to subside in 2 days, or increases after 2 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.
  • For mild discomfort use aspirin, Tylenol® (325mg) or any similar medication, two tablets every 6 hours; ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) 200mg can be taken 2–4 tablets every 6 hours. 
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable. 
  • Use ice packs (externally) on the same side of the face as the operated area. Apply ice for the first 24 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least 6 glasses of liquid the first 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.

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.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at (502) 897-5282.

PDF Version
Download Instructions

Take the instructions on the go. Download in PDF format.