POST-OPERATIVE CARE FOLLOWING AN EXTRACTION
After having a tooth taken out, you need to look after yourself carefully and correctly. Following these instructions will help minimise the post-operative pain, swelling and tenderness, aid healing and prevent infection.
It is normal for the socket to bleed for the first day and this can look far more dramatic than it actually is, as saliva makes it look like a lot more than the reality. If you feel there is some bleeding just spit the excess out do not rinse. Moisten the gauze which was given to you by the dental practice and place over the socket putting pressure on it by either biting or placing finger or thumb on it for at least 10 minutes. If the bleeding continues unabated for more than an hour; contact the surgery or if overnight.
You have had an invasive procedure so it is normal to have some discomfort after the extraction but simple pain relief should be enough to manage this. Avoid aspirin as this can affect the clotting process, i.e. cause more bleeding. As with all medicines, always follow the manufacturer's instructions, but if in doubt contact the surgery. If the pain is severe and not relieved by a simple painkiller or it lasts for several days then contact the surgery.
Try to avoid any regular exercise after the extraction and rest as much as possible. Keep your head up and keep your head higher for the first night using an extra pillow if possible. There may be the possibility of some blood spots on the pillow.
Avoid rinsing in the first 24 hours, if you feel you need to rinse try to spit out, this will help the clot to form and the socket to heal.
After 24 hours we would advise you rinse around the socket with hot salt mouth wash. 1 teaspoon of salt in a tumbler of hot water as hot as you can stand without scolding. Do this after every meal for 2-4 days.
Avoid hot food and drinks for approximately a couple of hours after the extraction or until the anesthetic has worn off. This may disturb the blood clot formation and you may burn or scald yourself and you may not be able to feel the area around the extraction site.
Do continue with your usual oral cleaning routine. Take care around the extraction site. Also avoid rinsing out.
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours following the extraction, as this may cause increased bleeding and delay healing.
If you smoke, do not smoke for at least 24 hours following the tooth extrication. This includes electronic cigarettes. Smoking will delay the healing process and may lead to post-operative infections.