After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately 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 over a several hours to stop the flow of blood from the surgical site.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke or drink alcohol for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 48 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some discomfort 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. Take your pain medications as prescribed if needed. If there is swelling it usually subsides after 48-72 hours.
If the pain medication prescribed by your oral surgeon doesn’t seem to be working or is causing you to be nauseated, give them a call. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable which may be several days following your procedure.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24-48 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.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 3-4 days, or a reaction to the medication call your oral surgeon immediately.