It is very important to not smoke following extractions. Smoking can delay the clotting process, causing pain and slow healing of the extraction site. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or feel that the extraction site isn’t healing properly, please call us for a follow-up.
Patients are given local anesthesia before their teeth are extracted. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. Do not eat any foods that require chewing while your mouth is numb. The numbness should go away within several hours.
It is normal for minor bleeding to occur for the first 24 hours following surgery. Bite firmly on gauze for 30 minutes following your extraction, and replace it several times if still bleeding. Frequent gauze changes may break the clot, and this will cause the bleeding to continue, so make sure to only change the gauze once it has become saturated. If the bleeding continues, place a damp teabag over the socket and continue to bite down for an additional 30 minutes. You can expect your saliva to be discolored for 24 to 36 hours.
Don’t spit or rinse the surgical area on the day of the surgery. After 24 hours, it is important to rinse gently with warm salt water (not mouthwash or peroxide) three to four times a day, especially after eating. Continue rinses for several days. You may brush your teeth and your tongue after the surgery, but be careful of the surgical site.
After having extractions, it is recommended that the patient maintain a semi-liquid diet and diet of very soft foods for the first 24 to 48 hours following the surgery. When drinking, make sure you don’t use a straw. The sucking motion can slow the clotting process that helps the surgical area to heal or loosen stitches that were placed. Once the area feels a little better, you can move on to a normal diet. Hard foods (like peanuts and pretzels) should be avoided, as well as foods with seeds that can get stuck in the extraction site. You should avoid alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, and anything too hot in temperature as these will irritate extraction site.
Some recommendations for soft foods to eat after your surgery are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Chicken Broth or Soup
- Any other foods you can eat without chewing
Pain and Swelling
It is normal to experience some degree of swelling after an extraction. If you do notice swelling, you can place ice over your face for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the first 24 hours following the extraction. This will help to keep the pain and swelling to a minimum. Swelling is common, and it usually peaks two to three days after surgery. If you first notice swelling a few days following the surgery, do not be alarmed. After 24 hours, ice will no longer help the swelling. Twenty-four to 36 hours following the surgery, apply warm moist compresses several times a day to decrease the swelling. Pain-relieving drugs are sometimes given when the surgery is extensive. For less complicated surgical procedures, it is recommended that you use Advil or Tylenol.
Sometimes stitches are placed to aid in healing after extractions. Usually they dissolve within three to 10 days. If stitches were placed that we will have to remove, we will schedule the appointment at the end of your surgical visit.