After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30–45 minutes after the extraction and change it every 30–45 minutes when it is saturated. If the bleeding or oozing persists, insert another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important that you do not disturb the clot as it aids in healing. Some activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process, so for optimal results:
- Do not rinse vigorously
- Do not suck on straws
- Do not smoke for 72 hours
- Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours
After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will lessen the swelling. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours, and the ice is helpful to minimize the swelling for the first 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection or irritation are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed up healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days, you will most likely feel better and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, increased swelling after the third or fourth day, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately.