Aftercare Instructions for Extractions

Wound Care: Bite firmly on gauze pack if it has been placed by us until you arrive home, then remove it gently so as to not disturb the fragile clot. Do not smoke for 12 hours because this will promote bleeding and interfere with healing. Avoid vigorous spitting, rinsing, or sucking–anything that would cause a negative pressure in your mouth as this can disturb the fragile clot. If the clot is lost, the bone of the socket can become exposed to the air and germs in your mouth and feel like a dull ache a few days after the extraction. This “dry socket” heals slower and more painfully than normal. If this develops our office can apply medicated gauze to the socket to soothe the socket during the healing process.
Bleeding: It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery. You may find a blood stain on your pillow in the morning. If bleeding begins again, place a small damp gauze pack directly over the tooth socket and bite firmly for 30 minutes. Rest quietly with your head up.
Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled by not eliminated by taking the pain pills that we have prescribed. Take your pain pills with a whole glass of water and with a small amount of food if the pills cause nausea. Do not drive or drink alcohol if you take prescription narcotic pain pills.
Diet: It is important to drink plenty of liquids. Do not drink through a straw, because this may promote bleeding. Eat normal regular meals as soon as possible after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day.
Oral Hygiene: Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After that, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water) every 4 hours. Also, gently use the mouthwash if it has been prescribed to you.
Swelling: Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. It reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts 4 to 6 days. Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 12 hours helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable. Packs of frozen peas or carrots that you have at home can work well.
Rest: Avoid strenuous activity for 12 hours after your surgery. Rest quietly with your head up.
Bruising: You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is a normal response in some persons and should not be cause for alarm. It will disappear in 7 to 14 days.
Stiffness: After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of you mouth. This is normal and will improve in 5-10 days.
Stitches: The stitches will dissolve over the next 7-10 days if you were told that they were the dissolvable type.
Call the office at 435-674-3100 and, if after hours, press #1 if:
1. You experience excessive discomfort that you cannot control with your pain pills.
2. You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on gauze.
3. You have increased swelling after the third day following the surgery.
4. You feel that you have a fever.
5. You have any questions.

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