Extraction After Care Instructions
Q: How do I care for my mouth after an extraction?
A: Wound care: Bite firmly on gauze pack that may have been placed for 15-20 minutes then remove it gently. Replace new gauze if heavy bleeding persists. Do not smoke for at least 12 hours, smoking will promote bleeding and interfere with healing. Keep tongue and fingers away from the area of extraction.
Bleeding: It is normal to have slight bleeding for 2-3 days after extraction. It might be advisable to use an old pillowcase the first night following an extraction. Keep your head elevated with several pillows. Try not to spit. Do not drink through a straw because this promotes bleeding. If bleeding begins again, place a damp tea bag directly over the site and bite firmly for 20 minutes.
Bruising: You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your extraction. This is a normal response in some persons and should not be a cause for alarm.
Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled with pain medication (i.e. Advil, Motrin, and Tylenol). Take the pain medication before the "numbness" wears off. Make sure to take any prescribed medications as directed. Do not drive and do not drink alcohol if you take prescription pain pills.
Diet: Do not eat until the "numbness" wears off to ensure you won't bite your lips, tongue, or cheek. Do all chewing on opposite side of mouth for 1 week. It is important to drink a large volume of fluids. Start with a modified diet consisting of COOL or WARM foods (i.e. ice cream, yogurt, warm soups). Nothing HOT. Return to normal diet as you feel comfortable.
Oral hygiene: Avoid rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth in the extraction area for the first 12 hours. After 12 hours you may rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every 4-6 hours. Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly.
Swelling: Swelling after extraction is a normal body reaction. It reaches its maximum about 48 hours after extraction and usually lasts 4-6 days. Apply ice packs over the area of extraction for the first 12 hours (alternating every 20 minutes). Sometimes 2-3 days after your extraction you may develop a "dry socket". If you experience an increase in pain and a foul mouth odor, contact our office.
Rest: Avoid strenuous activity for 3 days after your extraction.
Stiffness: After extraction you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of your mouth. This is normal and should improve within 5-10- days.
Stitches: If stitches have been place in the area of your extraction, you may need to have them removed in about 1 week. Your doctor will advise you.
Please call the office if you have any questions.