After Tooth Extraction

Optimal healing following surgery is dependent on proper post-operative care. It is very important to follow these post-operative instructions to facilitate optimal healing after teeth removal.

Most teeth extractions involve a gum incision and removal of the bone. Thus, pain is dependent on your capacity to heal and the care of yourself at home. After an extraction, the most important factor that promotes healing is stabilization of the surgical site. A clot needs to form within the extraction site, which will protect the exposed bone and will eventually become new bone. Thus, the surgical site must remain undisturbed for at least 4-6 days.

The day of surgery:

  1. Bite on a moist gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another moist gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. Fold the gauze or increase the number of gauze pads to provide firm pressure over the site. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
  2. Place cold towels, an ice bag or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn on your face, over the surgical area, during the first day. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then off for 15 minutes.
  3. Do not rinse with any mouthrinse (even if Chlorhexidine was prescribed) rinse until the following day. Do not rinse vigorously.
  4. Take all prescription medicines as directed but take hydrocodone as an adjunct to Ibuprofen (2-3 pills every 4-6 hours with 12 pills/day max). (Do not take pain pills on an empty stomach)
  5. Do not disturb the surgical site.
  6. No sucking from a straw or excess spitting. (This may dislodge the clot)
  7. Do not smoke for at least 3-5 days, then limit smoking to half. Diet of liquid (cold shakes) or soft foods and avoid chewing on surgical site. Do not take aspirin products. (Aspirin increases bleeding. Use Ibuprofen, Advil/Motrin, instead)
  8. No heavy activity/exercise for at least 48 hours. Keep blood pressure down!
  9. Some bleeding and oozing from the surgical site will occur. Apply direct pressure to surgical site with gauze or a moistened tea bag for 30-45 minutes if profuse bleeding occurs. If bleeding does not stop, please call Dr. Hovey. Put a towel on your pillowcase in the evening to avoid staining linens.

The days after surgery:

  1. Swelling and stiffness is normal. Continue all prescribed medications as directed.
  2. If Chlorhexidine (Perioguard) mouth rinse is prescribed, gently swish for at least 30 seconds and expectorate, do this 3-times/day beginning on the second day. Discontinue Chlorhexidine after 10 days.
  3. Do not disturb the surgical site.
  4. No toothbrushing or pulling on tissues around surgical site until otherwise directed. 
  5. Never remove sutures or materials within the socket. (This may dislodge the clot)
  6. Avoid chewing on surgical site for 10 days or until comfortable. Eat soft foods. Drink plenty of liquids.

If excessive bleeding, pain, swelling or infection occurs please contact the office at Northwest Portland Periodontics and Dental Implants Phone Number 503-222-2844 or Dr. Hovey’s cell number 503-805-9319 or Dr. Corning’s cell number 520-289-5961