After Tooth Extraction


  • It is normal to have a small amount of bleeding after surgery for the first one or two days.
  • If bleeding persists or if it is excessive: Place a one-inch (2.5 cm) thick pad of moistened gauze, over the surgery/bleeding site as needed; firmly bite on it for 30 minutes; repeat this with fresh gauze; use finger pressure to hold the pack if you cannot firmly bite on it; you may use moistened Tea Bags.


  • Swelling is a normal reaction from any type of surgery taking up to three days to reach its maximum, and then will start to decrease. 
  • Elevate your head on pillows for the first few days to help minimize swelling.
  • Apply a cold pack on the jaw for 15 minutes at a time. Do this for the first three days after surgery to help decrease swelling.
  • After day 3, you may apply heat to the sides of the face, massage the cheek area gently, and exercise the jaw by opening and closing the mouth, two to three times a day


  • Begin drinking immediately upon arrival home. Start with clear fluids at room temperature (ie: apple juice or broth) and Increase fluid intake for several days after surgery
  • If tolerated, soft foods may be started (ie: fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes)
  • No alcohol should be consumed 24 hours post-operatively as this can promote more bleeding
  • Do not use a straw to drink during the first week following surgery as this can delay healing


  • Keep your mouth as clean as possible to help prevent post-operative infections.
  • After your surgery, do not rinse the mouth, clean your teeth, spit, or swish fluids in the mouth
  • Do not smoke the day of surgery, and avoid smoking for at least 24 hours or more following surgery, as this will affect healing.
  • 24 hours following surgery: begin rinsing the mouth with warm salt water and clean teeth with your new tooth brush enclosed in the post-op kit and throw out your old tooth brush
  • Rinsing and cleaning should be done in the morning, after eating and before bed


  • You may not drive for 24 hours post-operatively.
  • No exercise, strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 24-48 hours after surgery. Increase activity as tolerated post operatively.


  • Take all medications as prescribed by the surgeon and follow as directed.
  • If antibiotics have been given during or after your surgery, birth control pills may not be effective and should not be trusted for effectiveness. Stay on the birth control pills, but other methods of birth control should be used for this and the next entire cycle.


  • All patients receiving sedation must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Afterwards it is normal to be drowsy for several hours. Stay home and relax until this wears off. Do not drive a vehicle, operate hazardous machinery, or consume alcohol/sedative for a minimum of 18 hours, or longer if drowsiness, or dizziness persists


  • Follow the instructions given to you by your oral surgeon regarding wearing your denture or partial denture. You may have to see your general dentist postoperatively to adjust or reline for a proper fit.


  • Do not blow your nose unless advised by your oral surgeon
  • If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid unnecessary pressure
  • It is not uncommon to have a nose bleed postoperatively
  • If you feel congested, use Otrivin Nasal Spray or ask the pharmacist for an over-the-counter decongestant. Use as directed.

If you are experiencing any problems during your postoperative healing, please call the office during office hours to speak with one of our nurses.

If you are experiencing an urgent problem afterhours, call the office and you will be connected to the answering service. The surgeon on call will contact you to address your concerns.