Tooth Extraction Post-Care Instructions

Immediately following an extraction, a blood clot will form inside the tooth socket. This is the first step your body takes to begin the healing process and it is important that this blood clot is protected.  If the blood clot is dislodged - a painful condition called dry socket can occur.  

During the first 24 hours:

  • Bite down on the moist gauze given to you for 30-60 minutes following your extraction. If there is still some oozing after you remove the gauze, dampen a new square of gauze and bite down applying pressure to the gauze for another 30 minutes. Some minor oozing is normal after the first hour and can continue during the first 24 hours.
  • Do not disturb the blood clot! Creating pressure in your mouth can cause the blood clot to become dislodged and create a dry socket.
  • Do not spit, drink through a straw, or smoke.
  • Do not rinse your mouth with mouthwash for 24 hours
  • Do not brush or floss right next to the extraction site for the first 24 hours.
  • Try to not engage in strenuous activities that can raise your blood pressure for 24 hours. 
  • Avoid hot foods or hot drinks, these can dissolve the blood clot.
  • Eat a soft, room temperature diet and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth for the first few days following the extraction.

When to Call the Dentist

  • After a tooth is removed you may have discomfort and notice some swelling, this is normal.  Take any medications prescribed to you by your dentist, you can also apply a cold compress to help reduce swelling.
  • If you experience fever, nausea or vomiting and have pain that gets increasingly worse with time, instead of better, you should call your dentist immediately, if you cannot reach your dentist go to a hospital emergency room.