After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth


After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

For moderate pain, one or two tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be taken every 3-4 hours. Acetaminophen can be bought over the counter in 325mg or 500mg tablets. These tablets can be taken as long as they do not exceed 3000mg per day. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken in addition to acetaminophen. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200mg tablets. Two or three tablets may be taken four times a day, not to exceed 3200mg per day. Consult our practice or the pharmacist for pediatric doses.

For severe pain, prescriptions medication may be prescribed. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery if taking prescription narcotic medications. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside and get better every day after the acute pain period (three to four days post-operatively). If pain persists past this point, it may require more attention and you should call the office.

Keep the mouth clean: No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can begin rinsing after meals and before bed with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt mixed into 80z of warm water.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at St. Paul Office Phone Number (651) 645-6429.