post operation care

What to Expect

Some discomfort, bleeding and/or swelling is to be expected after a tooth extraction. Following are some guidelines to be followed that will help healing and lead to a quick recovery.


For mild pain after the local anaesthetic ("freezing") goes away, you can take 2 Extra-Strength Tylenol (avoid Aspirin) every 6 hours. If we have given you a prescription for stronger pain medication, you can take one tablet when you arrive home. Then follow the directions for the prescription. Some people may experience an upset stomach from such medicine. If this occurs, take the pills after having something to eat.

It is normal for the saliva to be streaked with blood for a day. If frank bleeding is present, fold sterile gauze into a firm wad and place it directly on the bleeding area. Maintain firm pressure by biting on the gauze. You should remove the pad every 10 minutes and replace it with new gauze. Gauze may be substituted with a soaked black tea bag. The tannic acid in tea has a clotting effect.
Also, to promote the clotting:

  • Keep your head elevated and avoid excessive activity
  • avoid spitting
  • do not use a straw
  • Avoid smoking for 4-6 hours and drinking alcoholic beverages for 24 hours
  • do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours
  • Bite on gauze till bleeding stops. This may take 1 to 4 hours depending on the surgery Be careful that you do not dislodge the blood clots from the surgery site. It is important that the blood clots stay in place for several days after surgery.
  • Do not suck on straws; do not stick your tongue or fingers into the surgery site; do not chew food near surgery site; refrain from smoking, alcohol, and hot liquids. All of these actions will dislodge blood clots in the surgery site.
  • Starting the next day, gently rinse your mouth frequently with a solution of ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue this for a few days.
  • Take all medications as directed for as long as indicated.
  • If discomfort persists please contact our office.

Cold or lukewarm liquids maybe taken for the first 4 –6 hours. After this any soft food is permissible. For the first 24 hours, you should only take fluids or soft foods. Avoid any hot food. Good suggestions are eggs, custards, yogurts, soups and pasta.

Swelling and Discolouration
Swelling and discolouration is to be expected in certain areas, usually reaching its maximum two days after surgery. It will disappear gradually and is not a cause for concern. If desired, ice pads may be applied for the first 4 to 6 hours only, alternating for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

Sutures (Stitches)
If sutures are required, they will be removed without discomfort in about 5 to 7 days. An appointment will be made for you.
Do not hesitate to call the office if in doubt.

Oral Hygiene
After surgery, it is important to keep your teeth as clean as possible.. At first, only brush the teeth away from the extracted area. The next day, you may start using warm salt water rinses (1 tbs. salt in 1 glass water) approximately 3 times a day. Continue this for 1 week.

Generally, it is advised that you relax and rest in a chair the day of the extraction and avoid any significant physical activity. This will promote your healing.