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 appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad over the wound and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids in healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the first 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
Taking Care of Yourself at Home
- Remove gauze packs from mouth once at home.
- Drink water, 7-Up or other clear liquid. Have ice cream, yogurt or pudding, something to coat the stomach. Stick to soft foods — avoid anything hard or crunchy – no chips, nuts, or seeds, for the next week. It is important to drink and eat. Stay hydrated.
- Do not use a straw or sports bottle, nor rinse vigorously, for the next week.
- Take pain medication, either over the counter or prescription, as needed when the numbness begins to wear off. For Rx meds, take with milk or food.
- Place fresh gauze packs, checking hourly and changing as needed. When bleeding has stopped, you don’t need the gauze anymore. Do not sleep with gauze in the mouth at night.
- Do not brush teeth or rinse mouth for twenty-four hours.
- Rest and relax. Recline at about a 45’ angle through the day, and sleep with several pillows tonight.
- Do not drive or operate machinery for the next twenty four hours, or while taking prescription pain medication.
The Following Day
- Diet – eat warm soft foods that are high in protein ex. scrambled eggs, oatmeal, mashed beans, etc.
- Begin brushing and flossing teeth normally after twenty-four hours.
- Rinse gently several times a day for the next week with a solution of ½ tsp. salt in a cup of warm water. Avoid vigorous motion. Move the salt water solution from one side of your mouth to the other. Do not spit. Just let the solution drool out of your mouth. Avoid any force. You do not want to dislodge the clot that has formed.
- Continue to rest and relax, amending your usual routine to aid recovery. No vigorous physical activity for at least five days after surgery or as directed by your doctor.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities.
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 925-757-2422.