After you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot needs to form, which helps stop the bleeding and aids in healing. This is why we advise you to bite down on a piece of gauze for the first 30-45 minutes after your surgery. The bleeding or oozing may continue after this, in which case you should bite down on a fresh piece of gauze for another 30 minutes. You may need to do this several times before the bleeding finally stops.
Once the blood clot has formed, you mustn’t disturb or dislodge it. You should not rinse your mouth vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or brush your teeth near the surgical site for the first 72 hours. Activities such as these are likely to cause the blood clot to dislodge or dissolve, which will slow the healing process and potentially cause you more pain. We also recommend that you limit physical activities for the first 72 hours as well because it can increase your blood pressure and lead to more bleeding at the extraction site.
Pain and swelling are, unfortunately, typical side effects of having a tooth extracted. Placing an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the external area above the surgical site for the first 36 hours will help reduce swelling. Swelling typically subsides within 48 hours. Take any pain medications as directed. If the medication doesn’t seem to be working, please call our office. If Dr. Davies prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take them for the full indicated time, even if signs or symptoms of infection or pain have subsided.
You should drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods to avoid becoming dehydrated and weakened. You will recover more quickly if you are healthy. You can resume eating regularly as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.
After the first 24 hours, it is essential that you resume your regular oral hygiene routine, which should include brushing at least twice per day and flossing once per day. A healthy mouth will heal faster, and you should strive to keep yours fresh and clean.
You can resume your regular activities usually within a few days when you feel better. If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, swelling beyond the first 2-3 days, or a medication reaction, please call our office right away at (919) 367-6203.