After Extraction Instructions
FIRST HOUR: Bite down gently, but firmly, on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled. If active bleeding persists after one hour, place enough gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30-60 minutes. The gauze may be changed as necessary. If the surgical site is no longer bleeding after one hour, the gauze can be left out.
EXERCISE CARE: Do not disturb the surgical area today, Do not rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. You may brush your teeth gently. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is very detrimental to healing. Do not do anything that may raise or increase your blood pressure. (Exercising, climbing up and down ladders or stairs, operating heavy machinery, etc.)
OOZING: Sporadic bleeding or oozing is normal and may persist for 12-24 hours. It may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the surgical areas and biting down firmly for 30-60 minutes.
BLEEDING: Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning fresh packs. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
SWELLING: Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery. You can minimize this by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off during the first 6-8 hours after surgery. Swelling will most likely peak 48 hours after surgery.
PAIN: Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication, and if you take the first pill before the anesthesia has worn off, you will be able to manage any discomfort better. Remember that the most severe discomfort is usually within the first six hours after the anesthetic wears off, and after that time, your need for medicine will lessen.
DIET We do recommend sticking to soft foods for the first 24-48 hours. (Creamed soups, puddings, yogurt, milkshakes, mashed potatoes, etc.). Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chips, tacos, etc., that may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days, you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster.
SHARP EDGES If you feel sharp edges in the surgical areas with your tongue, it is probably the bony walls, which supported teeth, or the sutures. Occasionally small slivers of the bone may work themselves out during the first week or two after surgery. They are not pieces of tooth, and if necessary, we will remove them. Please call the office if you are concerned. Instructions for the Second and Third Days
MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use one teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two to three times a day for the next five days and most importantly after eating.
BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
DRY SOCKETS: Normal healing after tooth extractions should be as follows: The first day of surgery is usually the most uncomfortable and there is some degree of swelling and stiffness. The second day you will usually be far more comfortable and, although swollen, you can usually begin a more substantial diet. From the third day on GRADUAL, STEADY IMPROVEMENT should mark the remainder of your post-operative course. If a DRY SOCKET occurs (loss of a blood clot, from the socket, usually on the third to fifth day), there is a noticeable, distinct, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw, after radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw to cause other teeth to ache.