After Tooth Extraction and Grafting

  • 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.
  • Preventing saliva from reaching the collagen membrane can significantly improve healing.  As much as possible, gently bite on gauze for the first several days following tooth extraction.  Replace the gauze when it becomes saturated with saliva.
  • At times, a small area of the gum tissues does not close as quickly as desired and you may notice small particles of the bone graft material coming out of the area.  Notify our office immediately if this happens in your situation.
  • 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).  Use the prescribed mouthrinse twice daily by allowing the solution to pool in the surgical area for 60 seconds.  Do not swish the liquid.  Do not rinse the mouth with water after using this rinse and do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes.
  • Take the antibiotic as prescribed until gone.
  • 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.