Extraction Post-Op Instructions

Your Birmingham Family Dentist

Gauze/Bleeding: Remove the gauze compress in one hour. This is placed to help stop the bleeding. Some oozing of blood may occur the day of surgery. Instead of spitting or swallowing the blood, place a fresh rolled piece of gauze over the socket and close mouth tight for one hour. Ice may be applied to the side of the face. Head elevation is also very important. If these measures do not succeed, please call the office.

Medication: If you were prescribed an antibiotic, it is important to take as directed and to take it in its entirety. If you were prescribed pain medication, begin taking it an hour or two after surgery. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. If you develop itching, a rash or difficulty breathing, please call the office.

Diet: Begin with cool liquids (juice [avoid citrus products], coke, or liquid nutrition supplements). Avoid straws as the sucking action may dislodge the blood clot trying to form. Soft foods such as Jell-O, pudding, custard, or soups may be introduced a few hours later. Avoid foods that could become impacted in the socket, for example: corn, barbeque, chips, etc. Keep taking nourishment and try not to skip a meal as this could greatly affect the healing process.

Rinses: Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water using a teaspoon of salt. Repeat after meals or as often as directed. Please continue normal tooth brushing/oral hygiene. However, be extra gentle around the surgical site.

Swelling: Swelling of some extent follows nearly every tooth extraction. This is the body’s way of beginning the healing process. Following the removal of impacted teeth or trimming of the bone, swelling is often quite severe. It is mainly prominent on the 2nd or 3rd day and then begins to slowly subside. We usually recommend cold packs the first 24 hours and a low heat thereafter. Head elevation is also recommended the first two days. If you develop a fever or progressive swelling and/or drainage after the third day, please call our office. Stiffness of the jaw is also the body’s way of splinting and resting the part that needs to be repaired and usually relaxes between the 4th and 6th day. This will gradually disappear in 7-10 days. If stiffness or soreness of the jaw persists, a soft food diet should be maintained to rest the joint area. Warm, moist wash cloths or a heating pad on low will provide comfort.

Smoking: Smoking MUST be avoided post-operatively until the healing phase has completed. Smoking and smokeless tobacco may delay or prevent the formation of a blood clot, thus predisposing the patient to dry socket. This can be a very painful and frustrating experience for the patient.

For any additional post-operation information, contact Cosgrove Dental Care today.