What to do after Tooth Extractions

Below you will learn how to recover quickly and comfortably after tooth extraction.


Gauze has been placed over the extraction area to help control any bleeding. Maintain firm biting pressure for ½ hour following the extraction.  Remember, continuous pressure over the extraction area is critical for bleeding to stop.  If heavy bleeding continues place fresh gauze, which has been given to you, over the extraction area and apply firm biting pressure for 1 hour (a teabag moistened with cool water works equally well).  Slight oozing is normal for 24 hours following tooth extraction and a little blood on the pillow the morning after is not uncommon; however if heavy bleeding continues after repeated attempts with gauze pressure please contact us.


Do not rinse or use mouthwash for the first 24 hours following extractions.  After 24 hours rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of water) every 3 hours and especially after meals to keep the area clean. Mouthwashes are not recommended during the first two weeks of healing.

Things to avoid

  • Spitting, drinking through a straw, and picking the extraction area or sutures. This may disrupt the blood clot and restart bleeding.
  • Smoking may also restart bleeding and delay or slow the healing process. Smoking may also cause a dry socket, which is an extremely painful, delayed healing condition of the extraction socket requiring daily dressing changes and trips to the dental office.


Some discomfort is expected following tooth extractions.  The best over over the counter medication is as follows: take 3 Advil (3 ibuprofen 200 mg.) and 2 Tylenol (2 acetometaphen 650 mg.) every 4-6 hours.  This combination has been proven to be more effective and safer than prescription pain medicine.  If medication has been prescribed, take as directed.  (If you are taking any prescription medicine it is always a good idea to check with your pharmacist that  a new prescription does not interfere with any of the medicines you are taking.)


Gently apply ice packs to face in the area of tooth extraction 20 min. on / 20 min. off.  A bag of frozen peas works extremely well.  Holding ice chips in your mouth next to the extraction is often easier, more comforting and also aids in bleeding and pain control. Arnica is a great Homeopathic remdy to reduce swelling, bruising and pain after dental surgery.


Maintain a soft, bland diet for 2-3 days following surgery.  Avoid salty, spicy and hot foods since they can irritate the extraction area (do not put any thing in your mouth that you would not put on a cut). Avoid crunchy foods such as nuts, chips, pretzels, etc… as they may get lodged in the extraction socket and may be difficult to rinse out.

Healing aids

We highly encourage vitamin therapy for the first two weeks after any surgery since it has been proven to aid the haling process.

  • Vitamin Ester C 1000mg:  take it twice a day (with breakfast and dinner preferably)
  • Zinc Gluconate 50 mg/: take it twice a day (with breakfast and dinner preferably)
  • Arnica: Homopathic remedy that reduces swelling and bruising once per day
  • Boron 6mg/day: helps with bone healing once per day
  • Vitamin K2: involved in bone healing via calcium transport: once pill a day


If we have not answered all of your questions or we have not been clear about something please do not hesitate to call us, we are always there for you.

Click to schedule an appointment or call 631-361-3577

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