After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That is why we ask you to bite on a moistened gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another moistened gauze pad and bite firmly for another 45 minutes to one hour. You may have to do this a few times. However, excessive changes more than four or five or frequent changes less than every 30 minutes are most often the cause of excessive bleeding.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. We advise you to not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 3 days as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding or throbbing pain 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. Increased swelling in the area of an extraction after the third day from surgery is unusual and should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Use the pain medication as directed by Dr Chun and his staff at the surgery and or consult appointment. To review, you should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild to moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 6 hours for patients over the age of 12 years. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol and is often reported to work better. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every six to eight hours for patients over age of 12 years as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed narcotic medication should be taken as directed. You should not drive, operate machinery or make important decisions while on narcotic pain medications. If the medication doesn’t seem to be working then call the office for further instructions.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Missing one dose time is usually not a problem if you have been on it for a couple days but take the next dose as soon as possible and in this case doubling the next dose usually is not necessary. Missing more than 24 consecutive hours of antibiotics within the first 3 days of dosing schedule can be a problem and a call to the doctor is recommended to discuss the situation. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Rash, itching or swelling with use could indicate an allergic reaction and you must alert the doctor of these findings immediately. Swelling of the neck and face other than at the surgical site accompanied with difficulty in breathing is a life threatening allergic problem and calling 911 and/or going to the nearest emergency room is advised. Other problems that antibiotics could cause that you may need to advise your doctor of is sudden development of diarrhea as this could signify a antibiotic induced colitis of the bowels that may need treatment. Call the office if you have any questions.
Drink lots of clear fluids and eat nutritious soft food on the days after the extraction. We recommend a clear diet for the first meal followed by full liquids or very soft solids after the first eight to twelve hours from surgery. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable after the first 24 hours. Spicy foods have shown to irritate extraction sites up to 2 weeks after surgery.
It is important to resume your normal home dental hygiene routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. You will avoid brushing the extraction site directly for the first three to four days after surgery and then begin with a light whisk brush stroke with a soft tooth brush on the extraction site. 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 at 925-833-8516.