Anesthetic: The anesthetic administered subsides after a few hours depending on the type of anesthetic, and on the individual. Be careful not to bite the tongue and the lip while numb.
Bleeding: After an extraction, gauze has been placed over the tooth socket to help control the bleeding. It is important to keep firm pressure for 35 to 45 min. Avoid chewing on the gauze. After the gauze is removed there may be some oozing of the socket. A little bit of oozing is normal. However, if it looks like bleeding has not stopped, then do the following:
- Place new gauze over the socket and keep pressure for 20 min. Dampen the gauze before removing it in order not to pull the clot.
- Or, place a tea bag over the socket if gauze not available.
- If after removing the gauze or tea bag, the socket is still bleeding, make sure to call our office and have the doctor paged.
Blood Clot: The clot is a very important part of healing. In order to protect the clot:
- Avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, or drinking out of a bottle for 24 hours. This creates suction in your mouth, which may be strong enough to pull the clot from the socket. If this happens, you have dry socket, which is very painful and delays healing.
- Do not rinse vigorously. This may also remove the clot from the socket. Instead, let the water run around the mouth gently and then spit out slowly.
- Limit exercise. This will reduce the bleeding, and help the clot form.
- Keep your your oral hygiene, but avoid brushing around the extraction site for a day or two.
Medication: Medication may have been prescribed to relieve pain, and avoid or reduce infection. These medications should only be used as directed. Be patient! Pain medication may not work immediately. It may not work until the second instructed dose. If you develop a rash after taking the medications, stop the medications and contact our office or the emergency room. You may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the medications.
Swelling: Normal swelling occurs the first 48 hours. Sometimes swelling is accompanied by discomfort. You may be able to reduce swelling and discomfort by placing a cold pack over the swollen area. If swelling does not start to decrease after the second day, please contact our office.
Diet: Make sure to drink lots of fluids, but avoid alcoholic beverages. Food should be of soft consistency, but rich in protein. You can start eating more solid foods as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. Chew on side opposite to where the extraction was done.
Rinsing: About 24 hours after the extraction, you can start rinsing well with warm salt water a couple of times a day. Just dissolve a teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water. It is important to keep food particles out of the extraction site in order to allow for proper healing.
Contact us if you have any questions about your procedure or after care, we will be happy to help you.