To maximize healing after surgery, and to minimize the risk of dry socket, Knolls Dental Care has provided a detailed list of instructions for you to follow after your tooth extraction. These instructions are not suggestions. Please follow them as closely as possible to ensure your surgical site heals properly.
The healing process for tooth extractions usually takes one to two weeks and could have the following effects on your body and mouth:
- Dry Socket
It is normal for the surgical site to bleed the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction. When bleeding occurs, bite down gently on a gauze pad for 30-60 minutes to help lessen the amount of bleeding. Keep your head elevated and your activity at a minimum.
If swelling occurs, apply a cold compress to the affected area in 15-minute intervals. After 48 hours, you will want to switch to heat. You will need to apply the heat at 15-minute intervals until the swelling has gone down. If the swelling does not go away within 72 hours, please contact our office.
To avoid feeling nauseous, eat before taking medicine. You will want to eat soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, mashed potatoes, soup broth. Avoid hot foods.
There is always the chance that you will feel some type of discomfort after a tooth extraction. To alleviate pain, you may choose to take an over-the-counter medicine, such as Tylenol, Aleve, or Ibuprofen. We recommend that you start taking the medicine before the anesthesia wears off. Make sure you eat before taking your medication, and call our office if the discomfort does not subside.
The blood clot that forms in the extraction site after surgery is essential to the healing process. If that blood clot dislodges, you will experience dry socket. Dry socket is very painful and should be avoided at all costs. To keep your blood clot intact, avoid the following activities:
- Touching the surgical site with your fingers, tongue, toothbrush, etc.
- Strenuous activities that will increase your circulation
- Vigorous sneezing or blowing your nose
- Sucking through a straw, chewing hard foods, or spitting
After 24 hours, you may begin to gently rinse your mouth with salt water. Be careful not to spit too forcefully. If you happen to experience dry socket, please contact our office, and we will clean and dress the area.
Our dentist and team at Knolls Dental Care look forward to helping you through the healing process after your tooth extraction. If you have any questions, or if you need to speak with Dr. Jonathan Kim