Post-Operative Instructions: General Tooth Extraction

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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 excessive bleeding or oozing persists, please call our office.

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 hinder 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 plenty of fluids and eat nutritious soft foods on the day of extraction. We recommend a soft food diet consisting of foods such as chunky soup, mashed potatoes, ravioli, etc., rather than foods such as applesauce, Jell-O®, broth, pudding, and yogurt, which have minimal substance and could result in an upset stomach, nausea, and/or vomiting. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

Oral Hygiene

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice 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 the office immediately.