Tooth Extraction: Home Care Instructions

General Instructions

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lips while you are numb.
After Treatment Healing:
  • After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process.
  • We will have you bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment to help your body form the blood clot. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, replace the gauze pad with a new one 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 slow down 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.
  • 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.
Pain Management
  • After the tooth is extracted you may feel some discomfort and experience some swelling. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
  • Place an ice pack on the area to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Take pain medications 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.
Oral Hygiene
  • Do not brush the teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours.
  • It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing morning and evening, and flossing daily.
  • Keeping your mouth clean will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at: 253.851.9171

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