Tooth extraction is a minor surgical procedure. Therefore, it is natural that temporary changes will occur in the mouth afterward. You'll be functioning normally within a week or two. In the meantime, you should follow a few simple rules to help promote healing, prevent complications, and make yourself more comfortable.
Anesthetic: The length of time you experience numbness will vary depending on the type and amount of anesthetic you've received. While your mouth is numb, you'll want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. The numbness should subside in anywhere from two to nine hours as this will vary between patients.
Healing: The gauze pack on the extraction site placed here at the office is to limit bleeding and promote the formation of a blood clot which is essential for proper healing. Replace the gauze every twenty to thirty minutes or until any bleeding slows to a trickle. Moderate pressure will be enough to stop the bleeding but expect some oozing from the socket for several hours. It will be very important to continue to floss and brush at least twice daily. Clean as close to the extraction site as possible but do not disturb the clot.
Swelling and Pain: After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can reduce the swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used if this is a problem.
Medication: If antibiotics have been prescribed, it is very important to start and finish the prescription to control or prevent infection. Any pain medication should be used only as directed.
Diet: After the extraction, drink lots of cold liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For two to three days, chew food on the side opposite the extraction site.
Rinsing: The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half a teaspoon of salt in an 8oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles out of the extraction site.
Do not smoke, rinse vigorously or use a straw for 48 hours.
Do not chew on the gauze pack protecting the extraction site.
Do not suck on the extraction site.
Do not drink alcohol or hot liquids for several days.
Do not use mouthwash during the early healing period.
If you have prolonged swelling, bleeding, severe pain, or fever call the office immediately.
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