How best to manage your dental health post tooth extraction
An extraction is a traumatic procedure and it is normal to be a little tender afterwards and to have some discomfort and swelling for a few days after.
- Bite on the gauze given for at least 20 minutes in order to apply pressure to the extraction wound. This would help to stop the bleeding. Replace the gauze with a new one once it is soaked with saliva and/or blood.
- Avoid rinsing on the day of treatment as it may cause bleeding to resume. You should rinse regularly after 24 hours with Corsodyl mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection. This should continue until the socket is fully healed.
- Avoid hot food or drinks, they can cause bleeding to recur.
- Avoid any food particles lodging into the wound- This may delay the healing process and may sometimes create an infection in or around the wound. Do not avoid brushing the surrounding wound area, gentle brushing is essential and recommended to keep any bugs away from the area.
- If possible, avoid consuming hard foods which may injure the gum surrounding the extraction wound, especially whilst still numb.
- Avoid smoking as much as possible after extraction for 2 weeks. The more you smoke afterwards the more likely you are to develop a painful post-operative infection called a dry socket. This can last for up to 2 weeks and cause a lot of discomfort.
- Do not attempt to conduct vigorous exercise after extraction.
- Applying constant gentle pressure to an area will normally stop all bleeding. Pressure should be applied gently for 30 – 60 minutes without taking a break. If prolonged bleeding occurs, keep constant, sustained pressure on the area and inform your dentist. The dentist will give you further instructions which may include returning to the clinic if needed.
- Discomfort may be felt at the extraction area after the local anaesthetic has subsided. Prescribed painkillers should be administered according to instructions by the attending dentist. We usually prescribe Ibuprofen (Neurofen) or Ponstan for post-extraction pain. For best results, take a painkiller before your anaesthetic wears off. This ensures things are comfortable for when it eventually does.
- To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off, for an hour or longer.