Aftercare for Tooth Extraction
Proper aftercare for tooth extraction is important following your oral surgery. Understanding the do’s and don’ts of caring for your mouth after the procedure will help you feel confident about the extraction and healing process.
Bleeding After Tooth Extraction
- What To Do: Bleeding after a tooth extraction is normal and should diminish steadily within a day or two. Bite down on a clean gauze pad to apply pressure to the empty socket for 45 minutes to an hour at a time. The gauze should be folded so that when you bite down it creates adequate direct pressure on the tooth socket. Repeat this process as bleeding persists.
- What Not To Do: Do not keep changing the gauze or checking for bleeding within the 45 minute intervals, as this could interrupt the clotting process.
Pain Control After Tooth Extraction
- What To Do: Follow the advice of your oral surgeon for managing post-extraction discomfort. Most patients manage their pain using over-the-counter products like Tylenol or Motrin. Prescription analgesics or antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor and should be taken as directed.
- What Not To Do: Do not discontinue taking an antibiotic before finishing the prescribed amount. Be cautious when using prescription pain medication, and avoid taking them past the point of necessity as they can be habit forming.
- What To Do: Your oral surgeon will probably recommend eating soft foods and liquids in the day or two immediately after your extraction in order to promote proper healing.
- What Not To Do: Avoid chewing food on the affected side of your mouth. Do not consume hot liquids as they could dissolve the blood clot. Do not drink out of a straw as this could dislodge the blood clot. Be cautious if you eat and chew in the hours immediately following your procedure. The area surrounding your extraction will be numb for several hours, and the loss of sensation could lead to you unknowingly biting your cheek, lip, or tongue.
- What To Do: Maintain good oral hygiene, with a few modifications, while you heal after an extraction. Gently brush your teeth as usual, with the exception of the extraction site and teeth immediately surrounding it.
- What Not To Do: Do not do any vigorous rinsing or spitting. Avoid the use of mouthwash.
With a little extra care and precaution, you will be successful with your post-extraction care. The first two days are generally the most uncomfortable, with gradual and steady improvement after that. By following the do’s and don’ts of post-extraction care, you will increase your chance for a smooth recovery.
Contact the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah to learn more about the process of extraction and what we will recommend for aftercare for tooth extraction.
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