Tooth Extraction Post-Operative Instructions

Instructions following tooth extraction:

1. Continue to bite down on gauze with firm pressure for 30 minutes after the extraction. Replace with a damp fresh gauze if bleeding persists after 30min. The key to stopping the bleeding is applying pressure. If you run out of gauze, use a wet regular tea bag (not herbal tea). You may experience some oozing of blood over the first 2 days, which is normal. Sleep with a towel on your pillow, and continue the regimen of gauze/teabag and pressure. Call us if the bleeding seems very rapid or uncontrollable.

2. If you wish, take 2 ibuprofen as soon as you get home (adults only). Slight discomfort is normal.

3. Avoid smoking, which will delay healing and increase pain, for as long as possible.

4. Do not suck through a straw, spit, or drink or eat anything hot.

5. Do not touch or disrupt the socket. No brushing around the area or rinsing until tomorrow.

6. Relax for the rest of the day – no physical activity, even moderate.

7. Eat soft foods only, and avoid anything with seeds, nuts, popcorn, etc.

NB:  If we have prescribed you a pre-medication, such as Ativan, you are legally impaired and need someone to drive you to the appointment, and someone to drive you home.


1. Rinse with salt water four times a day (half a teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water).

2. Continue to avoid smoking, and keep your teeth and mouth extremely clean with good oral hygiene.  (Do not directly brush the extraction site.)

3. Continue to take ibuprofen for discomfort. It works better than Tylenol.

Complicated/Wisdom tooth extractions only:

1. Swelling and bruising are a normal occurrence. To minimize swelling, apply ice (20min.on/ to the area for the first 24hrs. You may also experience jaw stiffness/problems opening.  These symptoms will all start to resolve after 4 days. Jaw stiffness can be helped by doing light jaw exercises, and by applying warm packs to the jaw muscles AFTER the first 24hrs.

2. Follow all of the above instructions. If we have prescribed antibiotics, make sure you completely finish them. Most discomfort is handled well with ibuprofen.

3. Stitches are only placed in certain circumstances. We will advise you of this.

By following all the above instructions exactly, you will heal quickly and will help prevent any “dry socket” from happening.

If you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at 758-5252