What to expect after getting a tooth pulled
After tooth extraction, its important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Thats why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, insert another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. If bleeding occurs, avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately. If given a denture, do not remove immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.
Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt-water rinse every four hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water.). After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out denture and rinse three to four times a day.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
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. Apply ice for the first 36 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.
Post operative discomfort is normal after oral surgery procedures. Start taking the pain medication before the local anesthesia or numbness wears off. Please use the following instructions to help control the amount of discomfort that you may have:
For Severe Pain
- For the first 24-72 hours, please take the pain medication as prescribed by your doctor. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Be sure to eat something prior to taking pain medication to reduce nausea.
- If your doctor has not prescribed any Motrin/ibuprofen, you may take 400 -600mg of Motrin/ibuprofen every 6 hours in addition to your prescribed medication.
- 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.
For Moderate Pain
- One or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 4 hours or 1 2 tablets of Motrin/ibuprofen may be taken every three to four hours.
- Do not take any additional Tylenol if you are taking a prescription medications
- Do not take any Motrin/ibuprofen if you have any stomach problems such as ulcers
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions. Be aware that some antibiotics can reduce the contraceptive effect of birth control pills. Please contact your gynecologist or pharmacist if you have concerns.
Drink lots of fluid 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.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call your office location immediately.
The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction of one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur (all of which are considered normal):
- The area operated on will swell, reaching a maximum in two days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 24 hours only).
- A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in two to three days.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If temperature continues, notify the office.
If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.