Care of the Mouth After Extractions
- Some bleeding is to be expected. We will provide you with gauze pads. Change them once or twice every hour. Fold and place the gauze over the extraction site. Bite down and hold the gauze until the bleeding slows down. It may take several hours. Don’t be concerned if the area continues to ooze. It is normal and may last through the night. If you experience any heavy bleeding that doesn’t seem to stop, call the office and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. You may remove the gauze to eat.
- Take two Extra Strength Tylenol (or Aspirin-free Anacin) as soon as you get home, and again every four hours until you go to sleep. Don’t wait for the anesthesia (Novocain) to wear off first, since it takes time for the Tylenol to work. See how you feel tomorrow and if have some discomfort continue taking the Tylenol every four hours. By the third or fourth day you should be feeling much better. If you continue to feel pain, or it seems to be getting worse call the office.
- No: Rinsing, spitting, smoking, drinking with a straw, for 24 hours. Doing so could cause the blood clot to come out of the socket and it won’t heal as well. The blood clot functions similar to a scab on you skin, helping the area to heal.
- Smoking: It is best not to smoke for at least 48 hours. The smoke will irritate the blood clot and will interfere with the healing.
- Keep your fingers and tongue away from the socket.
- Food: A light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours. Eat soft foods. Nothing too hot, and nothing too spicy. Heat and spices may prolong the bleeding. Avoid things like crackers or toast which could irritate the socket.
- After the first 24 hours are over, begin rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water. Rinse gently 3 to 4 times a day, after meals and before bedtime. Repeat for the next 2 or 3 days.
- Take all you regular daily medications. If you take blood thinners such as aspirin or coumadin you will have to wait 24 to 48 hours before starting them again.
- Bony edges. Several days or weeks after teeth are extracted you may feel hard, sharp pieces coming out of the gum. These are not roots. They are usually pieces of bone which surround the roots of the teeth. They often break away and work themselves out.
- If the blood clot is disturbed before the socket heals it may start to bleed all over again. If it does, simply place another gauze pad or clean cloth over the socket and apply pressure by biting.
- Dry Socket: If it doesn’t start to bleed again you may have a dry socket. A dry socket could be caused by something (such as food or smoking) irritating the blood clot. Sometimes the body just breaks down the blood clot for no apparent reason. Dry sockets may occur on the third, fourth, or fifth day after an extraction. They are generally very painful. They are treated by placing a packing with medication in the socket, which will make it comfortable.
- In case of unusual symptoms or questions call the office