Your bleeding should be mostly stopped by the time you get home. There may be blood present when you spit and your saliva may look bright pink the first day following extractions. If you do require placement of more gauze, be sure it is directly over where the tooth was. Bite down with considerable force. Leave the gauze in place for 30 minutes. If bleeding has not decreased in 3-4 hours, bite on a dampened tea bag placed directly over the surgical site. Tannic acid in the tea helps the blood to clot.
The best way to prevent infection is to keep your mouth clean. That said, don’t brush for the first 24 hours after extraction. After that, brush your teeth in your usual manner each time after you eat. You can also gently rinse with warm saline water several times a day, beginning no sooner than six hours after surgery. A warm salt water rinse every four hours and after meals flushes out particles of food and debris and helps decrease the chances of an infection developing. AVOID VIGOROUS SWISHING.
Pain may be the most severe the first day and then diminish each day thereafter. Pain that goes away after two or three days and then comes back is not normal, especially if you have have wisdom tooth removed. If this happens to you, please call the doctor or oral surgeon who performed the extraction immediately as this is an easy problem for us to treat.
If swelling occurs it is usually the result of the surgical procedure and not from infection. Swelling should begin to go away about the third day following the operation. If you have no swelling for two to three days and then suddenly swell up, or if swelling is still present 5-6 days following the surgery, this may be the development of an infection, and the doctor who performed the extractions should be notified. You may use an ice pack to reduce swelling, discomfort, and possible bleeding in the first twelve hours after surgery. If you don’t have an ice pack, a Ziploc bag of ice will work, too, or even a frozen bag of peas. Just make sure to have a towel wrapped around what you use, and do not leave it against the skin for more than 15 minutes at a time; you could frostbite your cheeks.
On the day of surgery, keep your diet soft. Starting the day after your surgery, eat as well as you can, even if it means relying entirely on liquids. Do not use a straw as the suction may cause removal of the blood clot, which is crucial to healing. A well balanced diet is beneficial to rapid healing. AVOID HOT AND SPICY FOODS.
For mild discomfort, use (DOLO,VOVREN,). DO NOT take more than 600 mg every four to six hours. If medications have been prescribed for you, take them as directed on the label with a full glass of water. Most medications are best taken with food in the stomach, unless specifically told not to do so on the label instructions. Pain medications especially should not be taken on an empty stomach. You should not drink alcohol, drive a motor vehicle, or work around any machinery when taking pain medications.
- Sucking on the wound
- Sucking through a straw
- Exercising, until all bleeding has stopped
- Smoking for at least three days following the extraction
Even with pain medication, expect moderate discomfort, some swelling and some minor oozing of blood in the 24 hours following surgery. If severe pain, swelling, or bleeding occurs, please call our office immediately.
It usually takes gum tissue about 3-4 weeks to heal. The bone can take up to 6 months to heal completely. Pain should be lessening by the second day, but it varies from person to person, and also depends on how easy or difficult the tooth removal was.