Instructions Following Extraction

Mouth Care: No rinsing or smoking for 24 hours following extraction. Brush and floss normally, trying to avoid the surgical area. You may begin warm salt water rinses 24 hours after extraction-mix one teaspoon salt to one glass of warm water. Do not swish, gently move your head back and forth allowing the salt water to clean the site.  Do not spit. The corners of your mouth may become dry or cracked-apply Vaseline or chapstick to the area.

Diet: It is important to maintain good nutrition and proper fluid intake following extraction. Eat a lukewarm, soft diet for 48 hours. Do not drink through a straw or drink carbonated beverages (soda or alcohol, to include mouth rinses containing alcohol) for 48 hours.

Bleeding: Normal oozing may occur for up to 24 hours following extraction and is controlled by applying biting pressure to a wet, folded piece of sterile gauze placed over tooth socket. If bleeding is substantial and fills the mouth quickly, call the clinic or go to the emergency room.

Pain: Soreness of the gums in the area and stiffness of the jaw should be expected. Take pain medication as prescribed. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. If itching or a rash develops, stop taking your medication and contact the office. If a dull, throbbing pain occurs 3-4 days following the extraction, contact the office for possible dry socket packing.

Swelling: Swelling and sometimes bruising is normal following extraction. The maximum swelling, pain and jaw stiffness normally occurs 2 or 3 days following extraction. A cold pack may be held on the face over the affected area to relieve and help prevent swelling. Apply the cold pack for 15 minutes on, then 15 minutes off, for a total of 30 minutes per hour.

Muscle Soreness: Stiffness of the jaw and muscle soreness is common following extraction. Chewing sugarless gum at regular intervals and applying moist heat after 36 hours will help muscle soreness.

Infection: If swelling and discomfort worsens after the 4th day following extraction along with a foul taste, fever, and difficulty swallowing, contact the office or go to the emergency room.

Nausea/Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting is most often caused by taking pain medication on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pain pill with a large glass of water.

Sutures: Unless otherwise advised, sutures will dissolve on their own within 4-7 days of extraction.

Prescribed Pain Medication: The prescribed pain medication can cause drowsiness, and lack of awareness and coordination. Alcohol and other drugs may increase the pain medication side effects and can potentially result in life threatening interactions. You should not operate a vehicle or work with the prescribed pain medication in your system.

Dry socket: A dry socket occurs when the extraction site has lost its blood clot.  Usually occurs 3-4 days after extraction with a dull ache and foul taste in the mouth. If dry socket occurs, the socket needs to be packed in the office for it to heal. Smoking is the most common cause of a dry socket. Straws and spitting can also cause a dry socket. No smoking, straws, and spitting for a week have proven best to avoid a dry socket.

Call the office if you have any questions.