After Tooth Extraction

It is normal to experience bleeding after your surgery. If you change the gauze frequently or are spitting constantly the bleeding will last longer. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. If you do experience bleeding fold 1 or 2 pieces of dampen gauze and place directly on the area that is bleeding and bite on it for 30 to 40 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs, ice should be applied for 20 minutes then removed for 5 to 10 minutes. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


For moderate pain, 1 to 4 tablets over the counter 200mg Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken every 4 to 6 hours. If unable to take ibuprofen you can take 1 or 2 tabs of Tylenol Extra Strength. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. 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.


Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.

Other Complications

Studies have shown that the use of tobacco products will decrease blood flow and oxygen to the healing tissues. This will cause more pain and delay the healing. It is also well know that smoking will contribute to a painful condition known as dry socket. Therefore it is very important that you do not smoke for several days after your surgery.

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 healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.