After Tooth Extraction

  • Maintain firm pressure to the area by biting on gauze for at least 1 hour.  Replace gauze and continue pressure hour by hour until the bleeding stops.
  • Cold compresses may be applied to the area for 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of rest for the first 24 hours following surgery.
  • Rest from normal activities (e.g., work, other responsibilities, exercise, etc.) for 24 hours following surgery.
  • Diet:  Avoid chewing on the side where the surgery was performed.  Avoid eating foods that could easily become lodged between the healing gum tissues and bone (e.g., popcorn, nuts, tortilla chips, tough meats, etc.).
  • Hygiene:  Brush your teeth regularly but be cautious to not entangle the bristles of your toothbrush in any sutures (stitches) that may have been placed.
  • Pain control:  It is normal for the area to be tender for a week or so following tooth extraction.  Pain and swelling usually peak within the first few days after surgery then decrease gradually.  For information regarding the best medications to minimize pain and swelling, see the Pain Management section of Home Care>General Instructions.