Post Operative Care Tooth Extraction
The following general guidelines will help promote healing, prevent complications, and make you more comfortable during the healing period following the removal of teeth.
The extraction site will be most uncomfortable for the first three days. During the fourth day, the discomfort begins to lessen. After about 7 – 10 days, most patients report feeling minimal to no discomfort.
A blood clot (scab-like covering) will develop in place of the missing tooth and is extremely important to the healing process. A poorly formed clot (or total loss of the clot itself) increases the risk of unmanageable pain, infection, and/or uncontrolled bleeding. Your maintenance of the extraction site determines how well a clot will form!
1) Maintain constant bite pressure to the gauze placed by the dentist. You will need to maintain pressure for about 2 – 4 hours. Replace the gauze once it feels like the pressure has lessened (about 30 minutes to an hour) with a clean, moistened gauze. DO NOT chew the gauze as it will stimulate MORE bleeding.
2) Avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, vigorous rinsing, and spitting for the first 72 hours.
3) Avoid drinks with alcohol and/or carbonation (fizzy) and HOT drinks (warm is ok). This includes sodas, beer, champagne, and any mouth rinses such as Listerine that have an “after-burn” feeling.
4) Limit strenuous activity for 72 hours. Heavy lifting, cardio exercise, and other strenuous activities can raise your heart rate and blood pressure forcing the clot out of place.