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  • Post-Operative Home Care after your Tooth Extraction

Post-Operative Home Care after your Tooth Extraction

Bite on gauze for 20 minutes to stop bleeding. If bleeding continues, gently remove the gauze and place another gauze. Continue to apply light pressure. Bleeding is natural and a required part of the healing process. Most of the initial bleeding is usually resolved after the first couple of hours following an extraction but patients should expect an "oozing" of blood for 24 hrs. This oozing of blood is not active bleeding but may discolor the saliva pink. As the blood clot begins to form be careful not to tear it out by gently removing the gauze and wetting the gauze if necessary. Removal of the blood clot will result in renewed bleeding. Tip: If you have prolonged bleeding you may try steeping a tea bag and gently biting on the tea bag. This is a common home remedy to help stop bleeding.

1) For the first 24 hours do not:
  • Smoke (for at least 2 weeks)
  • Drink through a straw (avoid carbonated beverages)
  • Drink alcohol
  • Blow your nose
  • Spit excessively
  • Eat hot soup or drink hot liquids
  • Get your heart rate up (physical exertion will get the blood pumping and prolong bleeding). Doctor's orders: Take it easy!
Any of these things may cause the blood clot to dislodge from the "socket," causing a "dry socket" and result in unnecessary pain. If you get a dry socket it usually starts about 2-3 days after the extraction and feels like a strong throbbing in the area where the tooth used to be. Please call us if this occurs, this condition can be easily treated.

2) Maintain a soft diet for the remainder of the day -- things like warm (not hot) soup, ice cream, smoothies (remember no straws), etc.

3) Use ice packs on the area of your face next to the extraction sight. Leave the ice pack on for 20 minutes and then off for 20 minutes. Do this during the first 24 hours to minimize swelling. After 48 hours you may apply a warm compress to increase circulation and promote healing.

4) If you were given medication, take them according to the instructions. If you have any over the counter medications at home you may take them according to the instructions. An effective combination is 3 (200mg) Ibuprofens with 2 (500mg) Tylenols. Tylenol works on the way people "interpret" pain in the brain while Ibuprofen works on location at the site of the pain. These two over the counter medications work well when combined but should be avoided if you have a history of ulcers or allergy to either medication. Any prescription medications (antibiotics or pain killers) should be taken exactly as directed.

5) Lightly brush the area, you should expect the gum tissue to be tender for a few days. Tomorrow start rinsing gently with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8oz. Water) every four hours for two days.

6) After eating you will most likely get food in the extraction socket. Do not pick the food out of the socket. Instead gently rinse or swish the food out. Picking the food out very often disturbs the blood clot and initiates further bleeding. Any remaining small food particles will be pushed out or metabolized by the body.

7) Elevate your head with an extra pillow at night time. This will prevent extra blood pressure in the area from disturbing the blood clot.

8) If any problems or questions arise, please feel free to call our office at 808-941-5555.

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