After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 60 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild pain, two tablets of Extra Strength Tylenol (500mg) may be taken 3x day or every 8 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) should also be taken for mild to moderate pain. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2 tablets (400mg) may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Tylenol and Ibuprofen can be taken in an alternating fashion for the most effective treatment of post operative pain.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

The symptoms of pain should slowly improve after the surgery. Some patients can have pain for up to two weeks after surgery while it is typical for most to have minimal pain after 1 week. If you have heavy bleeding or progressively worsening redness and swelling, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Bellingham Office Phone Number 360-746-6492.