Questions for Care Following Dental Surgery and Tooth Extraction
Proper care of the mouth following a tooth extraction and most dental procedures can reduce complications and speed the healing of the surgical area.
- What can I do if the extraction site starts to bleed? Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area, or by biting on a tea bag which has been gently moistened and wrapped in a piece of gauze. Keep steady firm pressure for 60 minutes. Repeat as often as needed.
- How often, and when, should I rinse my mouth after the procedure? Do not rinse or use a mouthwash for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every 1 – 2 hours. (The use of commercial mouthwashes during the healing period is not encouraged.)
- How much discomfort will I experience? It is normal to experience some discomfort following dental surgery. Aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil can reduce the discomfort. If medication has been given or prescribed, take as instructed.
- Should I brush my teeth? You may carefully use a toothbrush in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedures. A clean mouth heals faster.
- What can I eat after the surgery? Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery and/or general extractions is important. Eat soft food for the first day following the procedure. Later, if you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult you may supplement your diet with liquids such as Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, etc. A good nutritional diet is important for prompt healing following such procedures. If you are not able to chew solid foods of any nature for several days or longer, follow a nutritionally balanced liquid diet.
- Is there anything that I should avoid? You should avoid all excessive activity, don’t pick at the surgical area, don’t consume liquids through a straw, avoid alcoholic beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
- What do I do if I have sutures? If sutures were used, you must return for their removal on the appointment date given.
- How can I control swelling? Gently apply ice packs to the area for periods of 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off. This procedure should continue for the first 24 hours only.
- What if I get an allergic reaction? If you get a generalized rash, itching, etc., call the dentist immediately.
If you get a generalized rash, itching, etc., call the dentist immediately.
Do not hesitate to call us if any questions arise.