Some discomfort, bleeding, and/or swelling is expected after having a tooth extraction. Following these guidelines will help with healing and lead to a quicker recovery.
Take two (2) Extra-Strength Tylenol®, Motrin®, or Advil® (avoid aspirin) before the numbness wears off. Repeat every 6 hours as needed to control pain. If we have given you a prescription for stronger pain medication, you can take one (1) tablet when you arrive home, then follow the directions for the prescription. To avoid nausea, do not take any medications on an empty stomach. If prescribed, take any antibiotic(s) and anti-inflammatory medication(s), as it will help the area to heal.
To help reduce the bleeding, place a gauze pad over the area and gently but firmly bite on it for 10-20 minutes. Replace the pad as necessary with new gauze until active bleeding stops completely. You can use moist tea bags instead of gauze. Be sure to call us if bleeding persists or increases. To promote blood clotting, follow the following instructions for the next 24 hours:
- Keep your head elevated with pillows, and avoid excessive activity for the next 24 hours. Avoid spitting, blowing your nose forcefully, or using a straw.
- Avoid smoking for 4-6 hours and drinking alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. Do not swish or vigorously rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours.
- To keep the blood clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your fingers or tongue.
Swelling is anticipated following more difficult extractions. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to your face for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off for the first 6 hours following tooth extraction. You may continue ice compresses for the next 48 hours as needed.
For the first 24 hours, you should only take fluids or soft foods. Avoid any hot food. Good suggestions are eggs, ice cream, yogurts, cool soups, and pasta. Drink at least eight (8) large glasses of water or fruit juice per day for the first few days. Vitamin C aids in healing; therefore, fresh orange or tomato juices are excellent choices following surgery. Be sure to stick to a nutritious diet during the healing period.
After surgery, it is important to keep your teeth as clean as possible to avoid infection and promote healing. At first, gently brush the teeth away from the extracted area. The next day, you may start using warm saltwater rinses (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 glass water) approximately 3 times a day. Continue this for 1 week after the tooth extraction.
Generally, it is advised that you relax and rest in a chair the day of the extraction, and avoid any significant physical activity. This will promote your healing.
IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY PROBLEMS, PLEASE CALL US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (559) 432-8100