During the first 24 hours, it is important that a blood clot forms in the extraction site to stop bleeding, reduce pain, and aid healing. To protect the clot and avoid a painful dry socket:
- Bite on gauze with pressure for 30 minutes-1 hour. Some oozing from the site is normal. After 1 hour, if oozing is profuse, then repeat with a new piece of gauze. Oozing may occur up to 24 hours.
- Do not spit. Do not rinse your mouth. Do not suck on a straw or candy.
- Avoid hot, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco. Avoid for at least 3 days because it will slow healing of the site.
- Limit yourself to easy activities and elevate your head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
- When brushing, avoid the area of the extraction.
To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthesia has worn off.
To keep swelling to a minimum, use an ice pack over the area, 20 minutes on/20minutes off. When the numbness has worn off, drink lots of fluids and eat soft foods. Chew on the opposite side. After 24 hours:
- Resume normal eating as soon as it’s comfortable.
- Brush and floss, but be gentle around the site of extraction for about a week.
- Take all antibiotics as directed (if prescribed).
- Reduce soreness and swelling by applying moist heat. Swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
- Rinse gently with warm salt water (1 tsp salt + 1 cup warm water) 2-3 times/day for 1 week to aid healing/reduce swelling.
It is normal to experience discomfort for several days following an extraction, but call us if you have:
* Heavy or increased bleeding
* Pain or swelling that increases or continues more than 2-3 days
* Bad taste/odor in mouth
* Reaction to medication prescribed