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 30-45 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. Blood in your mouth will be mixed with saliva, so it will appear you are bleeding more than you actually are. If you have excessive bleeding (bright red blood continuously oozing despite biting on the gauze), you may try a wet tea bag. If that still does not work, call the office.
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. Avoid eating or drinking hot liquids and foods for the rest of the day.
Swelling is expected for bigger procedures such as wisdom teeth extraction, multiple implants, large excisional biopsies, apicoectomy, sinus lift or any other large bone grafting procedures. Maximum swelling can be up to 48 hours after surgery. You are encouraged to use an ice pack (wrapped in a dry cloth towel) placed on the affected side of the face, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off as much as you can for the first 24 hours after the surgery. After that, you may switch to a warm compress.
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.
It is normal to see mild to moderate bruising on the affected region 3-4 days after surgical procedures. Rest assured, this is only temporary. Therefore, plan your surgery accordingly.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. 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.
It is also normal to have a low grade fever (generally below 101F) the first two days after surgery. If your fever is persistently rising or does not go down 3 days after surgery, contact the office.
Smoking can delay oral wound healing, among other health hazards. We strongly recommend you cut down smoking as much as possible to ensure optimal healing.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office at Flushing Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Phone Number 718-888-9866.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is it normal to have swelling after 1 week?
Yes. Most of the time 90% of the swelling will go away within the week. The rest will resolve by the next week. For larger procedures such as bone grafting, it is normal to have swelling up to two weeks.
- Is it normal to have bruising?
Yes. It is normal to have bruising on the face in the region of the surgery. It is very rare to have bruising going down from the neck down to the chest area (unless you are taking blood thinners or have issues with clotting). If this happens, you should contact the office.
- Is it normal to have pain after 1 week?
Yes. Pain should decrease in intensity by day 5, however if you return to exercise or work immediately surgery it is normal to have a prolonged healing process.
- What if I’m still bleeding 3 hours after surgery?
If you are still bleeding 3 hours after surgery, it is important to bite (place pressure) on the rolled-up gauze at the surgical site. Most of the time prolonged bleeding occurs due to inadequate pressure (For example: frequent talking, not biting down at the correct location)
- When can I go back to regular exercise?
It is recommended that you abstain from regular exercise for 1 week following your surgery.
- When can I eat after surgery?
When the surgical site is no longer oozing, you may start eating soft foods on the non-surgical site. If you have had a procedure done on both sides, you can eat soft foods when your tongue and lip regain sensation.
7. What if I swallow the stitches?
The majority of the sutures we place are resorbable sutures. If you think you have ingested the sutures, there is no need to worry.
8.What if food gets stuck in the wound?
If we provide you with an irrigation syringe after surgery, you may use the syringe to draw up some tap water and gently flush the wound area with water. You may need to do this after every meal for a couple of weeks.