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After Tooth Extractions

Care immediately following surgery:

  • Keep pressure on the gauze pad that your doctor placed over the surgical area by gently biting down. Dampen the gauze sponge with water if it begins to dry out. Try to maintain constant pressure in intervals of 30 minutes.               
  • 48 hours after surgery, lightly rinse mouth with warm salt water every 1-2 hours. Avoid using any mouthwash containing alcohol as it can irritate the wound.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing areas around the surgical site, but be sure to avoid sutures.        
  • Use ice packs to control swelling.       
  • Take all prescribed medications accordingly. If any itching or swelling occurs, contact the practice immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.        
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but do not drink through a straw for the next 5-7 days.
  • If you are a regular tobacco user, do not smoke during the healing period as smoking increases your chances of getting a dry socket as well as an infection.

After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you.

Possible complications after a tooth extraction

Bleeding – Bleeding after a tooth extraction is entirely normal. If bleeding gets excessive, control it by using dampened gauze pads and biting down to keep pressure on the area. As an alternative to gauze pads, a moistened tea bag can be used. Apply pressure to the gauze or tea bag by gently biting down for 30 minutes. If your bleeding does not reduce after 48 hours, please call the practice.

Dry socket – Dry socket occurs when the blood clot dissolves or becomes dislodged. Tobacco users and women taking oral contraceptives are at a higher risk of getting dry socket. Dry socket is not an infection but does require a visit to our office. If you think you may be suffering from dry socket, please contact the practice immediately.

Swelling – Immediately following your tooth extraction, apply an ice pack to the facial areas near the extraction. Continue using the ice in 15 minute intervals for the first 36 hours. After 36 hours, ice will no longer be beneficial in reducing swelling and moist heat should be used instead. To decrease swelling, apply a warm damp cloth to the sides of your face.

If you have any worries, or are experiencing any complications not mentioned, please contact our practice immediately so that we may address your concerns.

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