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What To Do After Tooth Extraction

There are some dos and don'ts for taking care of yourself following the extraction of one or more teeth.

The following guidelines will help assure that you heal correctly and greatly reduce the chance of post-surgical complications.

1) Bite On Folded Gauze To Stop Bleeding

Do this for the first 30 minutes following the procedure. You can change the gauze in your mouth if it becomes saturated with fluids—this aids in the formation of a stable clot.

2) Expect Some Minor Oozing

Expect this for the next 48 hours after the extraction. If bleeding reoccurs, place a folded gauze over the extraction site and bite down to apply pressure for 30 minutes. Also, a moistened tea bag can be placed the same way as the gauze. The tannic acid in the tea stimulates clotting. Call our office if your bleeding cannot be controlled. You may also want to place an old towel over your pillow at night to avoid staining and elevate your head with two pillows.

3) Discontinue Tobacco Use For 48 Hours

If you smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco product, discontinue the use for 48 hours. Tobacco interferes with the healing and the suction created by "dragging on a cigarette" may dislodge the clot and cause pain and delayed healing.

4) Drink Plenty Of Fluids & Eat A Nutritious Diet

This prevents dehydration and promotes healthy healing. You should not drink carbonated beverages. A blender can be used to create a soft diet. Food high in protein and carbohydrates such as gelatin, pudding, milkshakes, and instant breakfast drinks are easy to eat and provide adequate nutrition. Avoid alcohol, as it may cause a dangerous interaction with any narcotic and will cause dehydration.

5) Take Your Medication As Prescribed

Take your pain medication as soon as you get home before the numbness wears off and as prescribed. Some discomfort is normal and should be relieved with pain medication. If you notice an increase in pain 3-5 days after surgery, please notify our office for follow-up care.

6) We'll Inform You On Suture Removal

You may have had sutures (stitches) placed in your mouth to promote wound healing. They will either dissolve on their own or they will need to be removed in 5-7 days. We will tell you what kind of sutures have been used and appoint you for suture removal.

7) Get Plenty Of Rest

Get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous exercise for at least a few days, as bleeding may reoccur.

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