Tooth Extraction Aftercare

While having teeth removed is a common procedure, it’s important that you follow the guidelines for proper tooth extraction aftercare.

Patients typically need 3-5 days to heal from surgery. Take the time to rest after the procedure as well as the next day; surgery can take a lot out of you, and limiting your activity can greatly improve your comfort.

Expect to be back to your normal schedule by the third day after your procedure. You may require a follow-up visit with Union Oral Surgery if you have a particularly complex case. Even if you aren’t scheduled for a checkup, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you have during your recovery. We’re here to help.

Managing Discomfort as Part of Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Patients will receive several medications to help them heal more quickly and comfortably following tooth removal. These include:

A strong pain medication. Take this on the day of your procedure as well as the second day.

A mild pain medication. By Day 3, you will likely need only this prescription to manage any discomfort.

Oral antibiotic. This medication can both reduce pain and the risk of infection.

Antibiotic mouth rinse. Use this along with a modified brushing regimen (see below) in the days following your procedure.

Immediately after tooth extraction, your doctor will also provide you with an ice pack. Using it can significantly reduce swelling following your procedure. Apply the ice pack for two hours with 20-minute breaks every 20 minutes.

Stitches and Bandages

Your doctor may place stitches as part of your tooth extraction. Try not to disturb these sites to give your mouth time to heal. The stitches are absorbable and will dissolve on their own within a few days. Sometimes, patients who have never had surgery are uncertain whether the stitches have come apart too soon. If you are concerned, feel free to contact our offices, but know that it is most probably a natural part of the healing process.  

You may experience some bleeding as well. As part of tooth extraction aftercare, patients receive gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Change this gauze every 15 minutes for about 2 hours after surgery. It is normal for the surgical sites to have some light bleeding for a full day after the procedure.

Diet and Oral Hygiene

After your tooth extraction, stick to soft foods that you can chew easily. Some of our patients’ favorites have been spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and yogurt, though you can choose any food that doesn’t disturb the surgical sites or cause you discomfort.

Avoid activities that could disturb clotting, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or sucking on straws. Do not exercise during this time. Movement can cause you to bleed and potentially lose the blood clots that form, and this puts you at a higher risk for a dry socket. Also, try not to rinse or spit during the first 24 hours after surgery. Both can cause stress on the extraction sites and stitches.

Union Oral Surgery will provide you with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use this for the first five days after your procedure. Brush with water only on the first night; you can go back to using toothpaste afterward.

Have Questions?

Our practice doesn’t stop providing care after a tooth extraction is over. We prioritize your comfort and safety throughout the recovery, and we are available to address any concerns you may have following your procedure. Contact us to ask:

  • Whether what you are feeling is normal during your recuperation.
  • Whether the medications you are taking are okay to use along with those we have provided.
  • When to schedule a follow-up procedure if you are planning a tooth restoration after your extraction.

We can frequently address concerns over the phone to help you get an answer quickly. If a follow-up at our office is necessary, our doctors can schedule your visit promptly.

Find out more about tooth extraction and aftercare. Contact our offices by phone or online. Call (704) 291-7333.