After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms in the remaining socket. To avoid postoperative inflammation and infection, it is important to keep the blood clot in place.
In the first 48 hours after extraction:
- DO NOT DOrinse your mouth vigorously, as this can rinse out the blood clot.
- DO NOT DOuse straws.
- DO NOT DOto smoke.
- DO NOT DOdisturb the extraction site with your tongue or fingers.
After tooth extraction, it is normal for blood to leak from the tooth socket for about 24 hours. To minimize bleeding, do the following:
- Bite on a damp gauze pad for 1 hour after extraction.
- Repeat with fresh gauze every 20 minutes as needed.
- DO NOT DOlying down. She elevates her head with a pillow.
- Limit activity for the first 2-3 days.
It is normal for it to swell after tooth extraction. The swelling is greatest 2-3 days after surgery and may remain for another 3 days before it starts to go away.
- Right after surgery, put ice packs on the area.
- Leave the pack on for 20 minutes and then 20 minutes for the rest of the day.
- After the first 24 hours, it is not necessary to continue with the cold compresses.
After teeth are extracted, it is normal to experience some discomfort as the anesthesia wears off. Taking the prescribed medication as directed should control the discomfort, but may not eliminate it.
- DO NOT DOoperating a motor vehicle or machinery while taking pain relievers. It can make you sleepy.
After surgical procedures, there is always the possibility of an infection developing. This does not happen in most cases. You may be given a prescription after a procedure with a higher incidence of postoperative infection.
- Take all prescribed antibiotics until finished.
- It is recommended that women taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) use other methods of birth control while taking antibiotics. Penicillin and penicillin-like drugs temporarily decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
Depending on the extent of the procedures, sutures (stitches) may be placed to help the wound heal. If you have stitches, your doctor will let you know after the procedure.
- Dissolving sutures should fall out in about 1 to 7 days.
- Insoluble sutures should be removed within 7 to 10 days. However, most are cleared within 3 weeks.
If you received IV sedation or general anesthesia for the procedure, you should rest at home with moderate activity as tolerated.
In the next 24 hours after anesthesia:
- DO NOT DOdrive a car or operate power tools or machines.
- DO NOT DOdrink any alcoholic beverage, including beer.
- DO NOT DOengaging in any moderate to high intensity physical activity (for example, running, lifting weights)
- Begin grooming normally the night of surgery or the next day, brush gently as you approach the surgical area.
- DO NOT DOto spit.
Start with clear liquids like apple or cranberry juice, 7 Up®, or ginger beer.
Early diet on the first day as tolerated, such as gelatin®, applesauce or smoothies.
Soft, non-chewable foods are recommended for 1 week after surgery, such as mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, or pasta.
DO NOT DOEat popcorn, peanuts, seeds, or pretzels for at least 2 weeks after surgery to prevent a surgical site infection caused by impacted food debris.
DO NOT DOrinse your mouth within the first 24 hours after surgery. Then gently rinse with mouthwash, if prescribed by your doctor, or warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water) 2 to 3 times a day for 1 week. Brush your teeth carefully, but avoid the surgery area for the first 24 hours.
If any of the following situations occur, please feel free to contact us during business hours at (702) 660-5574. During the afternoon or evening, call (702) 660-5574 and follow the instructions.
- Bleeding that cannot be controlled by biting down firmly on a gauze pad for 60 minutes.
- Pain that is not controlled with the prescribed dose of medication.DO NOT DOtake higher doses.
- Persistent nausea or vomiting.
- Increased swelling after the first 72 hours or swelling that interferes with swallowing.
- Discharge with a very bad taste that is not relieved by normal oral hygiene.
- Fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
FAILURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO LIFE.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will help, but please contact our office if you have questions about your progress.
Home Care Instructions/Answers to Common Questions:
- After her teeth were extracted, gauze was placed over the wound and she was asked to keep her jaw firmly closed for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. You may need to replace the gauze every 30 to 45 minutes as needed to control bleeding.Wear gauze for several hours after surgery to ensure bleeding is controlled.Bleeding should be minimal when you lie down (no need for gauze when sleeping).
- If the bleeding does not seem to slow or stop, be sure to place the gauze pad directly over the bleeding area and maintain constant pressure for at least 45 minutes. This will resolve the vast majority of bleeding.
- Additional measures may include the use of a tea bag in standard form. Place it over the extraction site and bite down firmly as above. The tannic acid in the tea will help with coagulation. If heavy bleeding continues, call the doctor in the office.
Dry socket is the premature rupture of a blood clot. This usually happens between the third and fifth day after surgery. It is more common in women. It is more common in patients who smoke or have medical conditions that affect healing. If you physically push yourself too hard, you are more likely to get a dry socket. Symptoms that could indicate that you have a dry socket are increased pain and a bad taste in the mouth. Usually the pain radiates to the ear. If you have these symptoms, please call our office and we can make an appointment to see you.
We recommend that you drink plenty of fluids and follow a light diet. Avoid hot liquids, as they can prematurely dissolve the blood clot. Do not drink alcohol, as it can have combined effects with pain relievers and alter the effects of other prescription medications. We recommend smooth, thick and creamy foods for the first 5 to 7 days.Avoid popcorn and all foods with seeds (for example, raspberries) and any other foods that can easily get stuck in the extraction sites.Avoid spitting, using liquid straws, and smoking for at least a week after surgery.
Starting 5 days after surgery, use the included syringe to clean the extraction site.
To use: Stand in front of a mirror and pull cheek back to view surgery site. With warm water in the syringe, place the tip close to the surgical site and rinse. This should be done after meals and at bedtime as debris builds up in the area.
Prescriptions must be taken as directed. They are prescribed to provide pain control. As healing occurs, the pain decreases. As the pain lessens, you may decrease how often you take your pain medicine.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE TAKING PRESCRIPTION BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AND ANTIBIOTICS, STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT ANTIBIOTICS MAY DECREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS FOR UP TO 30 DAYS.
Oral Hygiene/Mouth Elixir
As soon as possible, brush your teeth gently. Only brush the tops of your teeth when you are near the surgical sites with your toothbrush. Continue brushing your teeth and keep your mouth as clean as possible. A prescription mouthwash was prescribed. Start mouthwash 48 hours after surgery.
You should not do any activity that increases your heart rate for the first 5 days after surgery. The incidence of "dry socket" increases with physical activity that increases the heart rate.
Your stitches were placed to control bleeding and encourage healing. These dissolve on their own in 10 to 14 days.
To some degree, swelling follows almost all tooth extractions. This is the natural way to start the healing process. The swelling is usually quite severe after impacted wisdom teeth are removed. An ice pack applied intermittently for up to 48 hours can help reduce swelling. The swelling usually peaks within 36 to 48 hours. Note: Do not blow your nose for a week after having your upper wisdom teeth removed, as this can lead to healing complications.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE INSTRUCTIONS OR ANY CONCERNS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE at (406) 752-4375.
PLEASE NOTE THAT PRESCRIPTIONS WILL BE FILLED OR REFILLED DURING COURSE TIMEONLYSO WE CAN VERIFY OFFICE RECORDS.