After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, such as wisdom teeth, 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 moist wet gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the excessive bleeding persists, place another moist wet gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. Another alternative to replacing the gauze a second time can be to take a tea bag, moisten it and squeeze out excess water, and bite for 45 minutes (tetric acid in tea bags helps the clotting process).
What to Avoid
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.
What You Should Do
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. After 72 hours, you may switch to warm moist heat. Peak swelling is usually the third day after surgery. After that, swelling should start to reduce.
Use the pain medication as directed and call the office if it 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. Antibiotics should always be taken until finished. 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.