After Tooth Extraction

Post-Operative Instructions

The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Change out the gauze as demonstrated in our office every 30 minutes for the first 1-2 hours after surgery. Every person is different so it make take longer. Once the reddish pink amount on the gauze is small, remove gauze and look at the surgical site(s) for 30 seconds. If no pooling of blood is noted, the gauze is no longer necessary. It is best to sit up or semi-recline until bleeding has subsided.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon.  Use an ice pack on the outside of the face for the first day of surgery. Apply 30 minutes at a time with a 30 minute break in-between. If swelling is extreme or you have a temperature of 101.5 degrees or higher, contact the office.


Some discomfort is normal following surgery. If pain medication is prescribed, take only as directed. DO NOT DRIVE WHILE TAKING PAIN PRESCRIPTIONS. Ibuprofen is effective at reducing swelling and discomfort after surgery. If you are able to take Ibuprofen, or name brand Advil, it is a good idea to incorporate it with the narcotic. Have a small meal and a full glass of water with each:

1 pain pill

3 hours later, Ibuprofen dosage

3 hours later, 1 pain pill

3 hours later, Ibuprofen dosage

NOTE: Pain pill can be increased  1 1/2 to 2 pills if needed for pain management.


Soft foods and cool liquids are the best to start. When the numbness is gone, you may chew when it’s comfortable. Keep chewing to the opposite side of the extraction site or stick to a soft diet for the first few days following the extraction.


Do not rinse your mouth out for 24 hours. After 24 hours begin rinsing the mouth gently with a glass of warm salt water or diluted Listerine. Use 8 ounces of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt or 4 ounces of Listerine diluted with 4 ounces of warm water. Rinse after every meal and before bed. RINSE AT LEAST 4 TIMES PER DAY.


If you have been prescribed antibiotics, be sure to finish your prescription in its entirety. Contraceptives may be ineffective while taking an antibiotic. Use extra protection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction.


  • The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur call my office for instructions
  • There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually over the next month fill in with the new tissue. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses.
  • A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of severe pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur. Certain signs are evident with a dry socket, pain medication does not provide ANY relief and usually occurs around the 4th or 5th day after surgery.  Call the office if this occurs.
  • If you are involved in regular exercise, let your body be your guide. If you get light headed or develope throbbing in your mouth stop exercising.

Office phone is answered 24 hours daily 303-772-8585