After Tooth Extractions

In This Section
Surgical Instructions | Dental Implants | Wisdom Tooth
Anesthesia | Multiple Extractions | Exposure of an Impacted Tooth


For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every four hours or Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) two - 200 mg tablets may be taken every four hours.

For severe pain, take the pain medication prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine may make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Pain or discomfort following surgery should reach a peak on the second day after surgery and then gradually start to subside. If pain and/or swelling get worse more than two days after surgery, you should contact the office and let us know. If it is after hours, the answering service will take the message and contact the doctor “on-call.”


In some cases, bruising with discoloration of the skin occurs with or follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur any time within the first week post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction but call the office immediately and notify us should it be necessary to stop the antibiotic. Also, call the office if you have any questions.

Nausea and Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on cola, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. Break a Saltine cracker into four pieces and slowly dissolve a piece of the cracker in you mouth in between sips of cola or ginger ale.

When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine. If the nausea and vomiting have not subsided by the day after surgery, you must notify the office so that appropriate measures can be taken to prevent dehydration.

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes 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.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase 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.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

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 will 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 610-821-9588.