320 138th St S, Tacoma, WA 98444

Post Op Oral Surgery

I Had A Tooth Extracted.  Now What Do I Do?

Proper care of the mouth following most dental procedures can reduce complications and speed the healing of the surgical area.

  1.  Protection of the blood clot is very important, maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area.  Keep steady firm pressure for one hour.  Remove the gauze after one hour. Repeat as often as needed (Moist Tea bags can be used instead of gauze).  Be sure to moisten the gauze with a little water so that it won’t stick to the clot.
  2.  Do not rinse vigorously or use a mouthwash for at least 24 hours.  After 24 hours, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) every 1-2 hours is recommended.  The use of commercial mouthwashes during the healing period is not advised due to the alcohol content.
  3.  Discomfort following dental surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort.  If medication has been given or prescribed, take as instructed. Try to take pain medications while you are still numb. It is always better to stay ahead of the pain rather than to chase it.
  4.  The toothbrush should be used carefully in the area of the mouth not involved by the surgical procedures.  A clean mouth heals faster.
  5.  Eating adequate food and fluid intake following surgery is most important.  Start out with a soft diet for several days and transition to a normal diet as comfort allows. You may consider supplementing your diet with a nutrition shake to help.
  6.  Avoid all excessive activity.  Don’t pick at the surgical area.  Don’t consume liquids through a straw (Pressure in the mouth can dislodge the blood clot).  Avoid alcoholic beverages and refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
  7.  Control swelling by gently apply ice packs to area for periods of 20 minutes on, 10  minutes off.  This procedure should continue for the first 24 hours only.
  8.  Medications should be taken strictly following instructions given to you. Women taking birth control medications should be aware that antibiotics can cause the birth control medications to be ineffective possibly resulting in pregnancy. Alternate methods should be used while on the antibiotics.
  9. Do not hesitate to call us at (253) 531-4074 if any questions arise.

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