It is most important that you take the best possible care of the tissue while healing. The cleaner the mouth is, the better the healing process.

If you have a surgical dressing covering the tissue, let it harden for three to four hours before drinking anything warm or hot.

Instructions for Self-care Following a Tooth Extraction

The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks, and you'll likely experience some swelling for the first forty-eight hours.

Before the procedure began, you were given an anesthetic to ensure your comfort. This anesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has completely worn off.

To avoid nausea, do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.

You can also decrease pain and swelling by applying an ice pack - twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off - for the first six hours following the extraction.

A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit vigorously.

Blowing your nose or sneezing violently can also dislodge the blood clot and impair healing, so if you have an upper respiratory infection or suffer from allergies, be sure to have the appropriate sinus medication on hand.

Do not rinse your mouth the day of the surgery. Smoking, or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth's socket, should be avoided, as both will significantly affect the healing process.

Twenty-four hours following the procedure, you can rinse gently with mouthwash or a warm saltwater solution. (Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Gently swish the solution around the affected area, and spit carefully.) You should do this two to three times each day for the week following the extraction.

If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.

Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first twenty-four hours following surgery.

Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is important to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yogurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first forty-eight hours, and drink at least eight large glasses of water or fruit juice each day.

Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. We will give you a supply of gauze sponges to place over the bleeding area.

Change the pads as necessary, and use them until the bleeding stops completely. You can also bite gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for twenty minutes. Be sure to call our office if bleeding persists or increases.

The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange to you at first. Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.


You can expect a small amount of swelling; this is normal.
Use moist ice packs on the face (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off ) the day of surgery to help minimize the swelling.
If swelling begins after the first 24 hours, increase the frequency of your rinsing with warm salt water.


Expect a small amount of bleeding for a day or two following surgery.
Call your doctor if the bleeding persists after one day or becomes heavy.
You may notice a small amount of blood on your pillow the morning after the surgery.
There may be some discoloration around the lips, cheeks, or eyes. This will disappear in a few days.


Following all types of surgery, a certain amount of pain can be expected. Two tablets of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) may be taken every 3-4 hours if needed, or take the medication prescribed by your doctor. This should be taken as directed for pain.


If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is very important that you take them as directed
Once you have begun taking your prescription, you must finish all of the medication even after you feel better, or it may not be effective.
If symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, itching, rashes, dizziness, blurred vision, or shortness of breath occur, call your doctor at once.


DO NOT eat or drink anything warm for 3 to 4 hours after surgery, nor drink any hot liquids that day.
You may eat or drink whatever you desire, but try to select soft, nourishing foods.
Avoid chewing hard or spicy foods.

A good diet is essential to healing, so be sure to eat well balanced meals during the treatment.
Food supplements such as Sego, Nutriment, Ensure or Carnation Instant Breakfast are highly recommended if "regular" foods are difficult.

Tobacco smoke is an irritant to healing tissue. Please refrain from smoking if at all possible.



Post-op Instructions for an Extraction