Frequently Asked Questions
Instructions following dental extractions
Will I have pain?
A certain amount of pain following the removal of teeth is not uncommon. If no prescription for pain
medicine is given, you may use over the counter pain medicine such as Tylenol®. Do not use aspirin
What if there is bleeding?
A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following tooth extractions. Oozing may continue
twenty-four to forty-eight hours. If a lot of bleeding occurs, remove any large liver-like clots,
then place a piece of folded gauze over the bleeding area and bite down firmly for twenty minutes.
The gauze pack must be thick enough so you can press when biting down. Repeat this procedure if
necessary. Biting pressure on a wet tea bag may be effective in stopping bleeding. If bleeding
happens, avoid hot liquids, stop mouth rinse, sit upright and stop exercise.
Will I see swelling?
Following extractions, swelling and sometimes bruising can be expected. Normally, swelling will reach
its peak on the third day after surgery, then go away. To help swelling go down, ice packs should be
put on your face where the swelling is twenty to thirty minutes each hour for the first twenty-four
hours, then five to ten minutes each hour for the next day if swelling is extreme. After two days,
stop the ice.
Can I use mouthwash?
Vigorous mouth washing may cause bleeding if clots are not formed. Therefore do not rinse your mouth
for at least 24 hours following extractions. You may then gently rinse mouth with warm saltwater
solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water) four or five times a day for several days.
If bleeding continues, stop all mouth rinsing and bite on folded gauze. The third day following
surgery you may use a mouthwash such as Cepocol®, Lavoris®, or Chloraseptic® in addition to the salt
water. This will leave a more pleasant taste in your mouth and also act as an antiseptic.
What can I eat?
Your diet should be light, smooth foods (soups, custards, junior baby foods, egg nogs and Jell-O,
etc.) until healing has gotten to the point where more coarse foods can be chewed. Dietary
supplements such as Nutrament®, Sustacal® or Boost® may be helpful to maintain daily dietary
requirements. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Maintain normal bowel movements. A mild
laxative is recommended if necessary.
What Are Other Things I Need To Know?
Temperature - Following extensive oral surgery, it is not uncommon to have a temperature. Rest
and plenty of liquids will help you return to normal temperature.
Stitches - Following the removal of your teeth, an alveoplasty (surgical bone trimming) will
be performed to prepare your mouth for dentures. Stitches have been used to reposition the tissues
and speed healing. After a few days, the stitches may cause a "drawing" to tight feeling. This is
normal and will be relieved when the stitches are removed. Return for the removal of stitches at the
time your doctor told you.
Bad Taste - Because the stitches can collect pieces of food, your breath may be bad and you
may have a bad taste in your mouth. Removal of the stitches will clear up this condition.
Coated Tongue - Following oral surgery, the tongue may become coated. As healing progresses,
this condition will go away.
Bone Fragments - During the healing process, small sharp fragments of bone may loosen and work
through the gum. These fragments, which are not roots, usually work out by themselves, but if
annoying, return to the office for their removal.
Dentures - You should return to your dentist for denture impressions when instructed by him.
If he has made no arrangements for this with you, it is suggested that you contact him about ten days
after you have been released from our service.
Post-Operative Treatments - Return to our office for post-operative treatments when scheduled.