Instructions Following Extractions
After an extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. The following is a set of instructions to help promote that healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after an extraction. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad on the area and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood has clot formed, it is important to protect it, especially for the next 24 hours.
On the day of the surgery, it is important that you do not: smoke, use a straw, spit, drink hot liquids, or clean the teeth next to the extraction site, since these activities could dislodge the clot and slow down healing. You may feel some pain and have some swelling. For today only, you can use an ice bag (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) to keep this to a minimum. The swelling usually starts to go down after 48 hours.
Beginning tomorrow, do not smoke, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times a day (put a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, and then gently rinse, but do not spit). Also, rinse gently after meals. This helps keep food out of the extraction site. If there is swelling, apply warm, moist heat to the area.
Limit yourself to calm activities for the first 24 hours. This keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding, and helps the healing process. To control discomfort, take pain medication as prescribed, or Tylenol (Acetaminophen), or Advil (Ibuprofen). Do not take medication on an empty stomach or nausea may result. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
Any soft food may be eaten. Avoid alcoholic beverages, hot liquids, spicy and crunchy foods, and nuts, berries, or seeds that can get caught in the extraction site or under the sutures. Do not eat directly over the extraction site.
Sutures will dissolve on their own in 4 to 7 days.
It's very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your breath and mouth fresh. Call our office (978-921-7575) right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication. After a few days, you'll be feeling fine and can resume your normal activities.