Care of the mouth following extractions and other oral surgery

Tooth extractions or other oral surgical procedures are similar to other surgery; your own care in following the doctor’s instructions will speed recovery. Read and follow these instructions carefully and call us the day following the surgery.

HEALING: Do not disturb the wound by touching it with your fingers, a toothpick or your tongue; irritation, bleeding and infection could result. The blood clot, which forms over the area, is nature’s method of first stage healing and should not be disturbed.

BLEEDING: Some bleeding is expected. If the bleeding fails to stop within a reasonable time, place a folded sterile gauze square over the wound and bite down firmly for 30 minutes or hold in place. Repeat if necessary.

DIET: No food or liquid for 2 hours after leaving the office. This allows the blood clot to form. After that, you should follow a soft diet for 24 hours. Avoid hot, harsh or abrasive foods until the wound has healed.

RINSING MOUTH: Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after leaving the office. Then, to help relieve soreness and reduce bacteria, rinse mouth gently with mild warm saltwater. Please note, the salt must be completely dissolved before rinsing. Do not use mouthwash. Alcohol in all its forms can destroy a blood clot and will interfere with healing.

SWELLING: To relieve and help prevent swelling, apply ice against your cheek adjacent to the site for 15 minutes. Repeat 10 minutes later. Swelling after an extraction is normal and not cause for alarm. Ice application is effective during 48 hours following treatment. In addition to controlling swelling, it also diminishes bleeding and pain.

DISCOLORATION: There could be some external discoloration of the cheek area following surgery.

PAIN: Take ibuprofen. Please call if ibuprofen does not help.