After Tooth Extraction

To recover from a tooth extraction, the blood needs to clot.

You will be asked to bite on a gauze pad for 30 or 45 minutes when you are at the office. At home, you may want to do this again if you notice bleeding. This may need to be done several times to get clotting to take hold. Another method is to use a moist tea bag. Be sure to keep the head elevated until bleeding is staunched.

To avoid aggravating your wound:
• Do not rinse vigorously. Do not brush or rinse at all until bleeding has stopped.
• Do not suck on straws.
• Do not smoke. Do not drink alcohol.
• Avoid hot drinks, hot foods and sharp foods (chips, crackers).
• Avoid exercise. This can stimulate bleeding.

To improve how you feel and ensure your path to wellness:
• For swelling, use an ice pack (an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn will do) for the first 36 hours. During waking hours after extraction, apply cold continuously.
• For discoloration, which may extend to the eye area, use a warm towel after 36 hours to reduce swelling and discoloration.
• For mild pain, use aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. For severe pain, use a pain prescription for up to two days. Use Vaseline on cracked or sore lips.
• To promote healing and prevent infection, use a salt water rinse six times a day starting the day after your multiple tooth extraction. Be sure to do this each time you eat.
• To avoid an infection, use the full dose of prescribed antibiotics.
• Drink fluids and eat only soft foods on the day of the extraction. Continue to restrict your diet until the wounds heal.


Having multiple extractions is different than having one or two teeth pulled. That’s because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to insertion of a denture. Therefore, the healing process is more complex.
• Do not be alarmed if swelling and discoloration get worse for the first few days. Use cold for the first 36 hours. After that, use a moist warm towel.
• Do not be alarmed if you develop a sore throat for 2-3 days.
• Do not be alarmed if you develop a slight temperature for two days.
• Be in touch with your dentist about existing dentures and related sore spots.


Please contact the office to discuss severe pain, pain medication, allergic reactions to medication, or long-term swelling. A fever can be the sign of an infection if it lasts longer than a few days after extraction.