After a tooth is extracted, the bone and tissue is wounded and needs time to heal. Some discomfort, bleeding and swelling should be expected in the next 24 hours as your mouth heals. The initial discomfort is gone within one to two weeks. Gum tissue takes about 2-3 weeks to heal and complete healing of the bone will take longer.
Occasionally complications, such as infection or a dry socket, can occur. Following these simple instructions will normally be all that is needed.
- It will take 2 to 4 hours to recover from anesthetics. Until you get recover try avoiding eating and talking as you may hurt your lips and tongue.
- Bite on the gauze for 15- 30 minutes. The healing process begins immediately after extraction. Normally we put a piece of gauze over the socket after tooth is extracted and ask you to bite on it for 15-30 minutes to control bleeding.
- Do not take hot foods and drinks for 24 hours. Take soft and cold foods only for 24 hours.A light diet with plenty of fluids is recommended on the first day. Chewing should be done away from the extraction site.
- Do not split or drink from a straw. This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products for 72 hours after the extraction because smoke will interfere with the healing process, promote bleeding and can cause a very painful situation know as “dry socket”. The heat and nicotine from smoking cause inflammation of the soft tissue (gums). This will slow and complicate the healing process.
- Do not rinse your mouth vigorously on the day of the extraction.
- From tomorrow, rinse your mouth with warm water salt water(1/2 tsp. salt in 1 cup warm water) several times a day, to promote healing. You can do that for about a week.
- If you have swelling around the extraction site, never apply hot packs. Use an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 6 hours. Apply alternately, 10-20 minutes on then 10-20 minutes off, for 2-6 hours.
- Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after extraction.
- If antibiotics were prescribed, take all until finished. Use pain medication as needed.
- Continue brushing and flossing your teeth. Be careful near the extraction site while healing is in progress.