Tooth Extraction Post-Operative Instructions


  • DON’T drink through a straw.
  • DON’T spit
  • DON’T smoke, or drink alcohol for 72 hours
  • DON’T eat any granular foods (popcorn, rice, etc.) spicy foods should also be avoided.


  • DON’T use mouthwash for 24 hours
  • DON’T disturb the wound
  • DON’T chew on the side of the extraction for 24 hours.


What to expect after having a tooth extracted…


BleedingA gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site that you are asked to keep firm pressure on. You will also be asked to change this dressing every 30-40 minutes. It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery for 12 hours. We will also give you a package of gauze to take with you to use at home. Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. Use a towel on the pillow the first night.


You jaw may be sore from holding your mouth open during surgery. This may last 4-5 days. Massage the jaw muscles gently/ Apply moist heat for 10 minutes on/ 10 minutes off. Eat soft foods. Do not over extend opening your mouth, it can further aggravate this area.


For the first 24 hours, your activity should be limited because increased activity can lead to increased bleeding. No bending over or heavy lifting for 2-3 days. Do not play any wind instruments or blow up balloons for period of 10-14 days. When lying down elevate your head slightly. Please be aware that you may get quite severe bleeds intra-orally following extractions, from flying and recreational diving.


We recommend that you begin your pain medication regimen ASAP following an extraction, and continue to take the medication at the recommended intervals. If you recieved a prescription, this means having the prescription filled before the anesthesia wears off. Once the anesthesia/medication wears off, and the site becomes painful, it is harder to relieve than if you had taken the medication before it became painful.


Pain that lasts for up to a week or so but is gradually improving should be considered typical. Pain that seems to be getting worse after two days should be considered abnormal and may require an evaluation by us.


To Prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 to 24 hours. Apply alternately, 10-20 minutes on then 10-20 minutes off.