After Tooth Extraction
Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Bite down firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical area, making sure the gauze remain in place. Do not change for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 60 minutes. The gauze may then be changed every 45 to 60 minutes until bleeding has stopped or slowed.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling use a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and forty minutes off during the first 48 hours after surgery. After using a cold pack for the first 48 hours, you should apply warm compresses to the skin over the area of swelling (hot water bottles, heating pad or hot moist towels) for 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food while the numbness is present. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic has worn off. For moderate pain, over the counter pain medicine such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol should be taken every 4-6 hours.
For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Please use the prescribed mouth rinse for seven days, then use the warm salt rinse only. 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two to three times a daily. Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.