After Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery Home Care Instructions

  1. Keep your mouth closed firmly on the gauze packs for at least one hour after your extractions.  There will be some oozing of blood from the extraction sites today and tonight.  If there is continued bleeding, fold one of the gauze squares tightly, moisten it with water, and place it over the area of bleeding.  Leave the gauze in place over the area where the tooth was removed.  Close your mouth on the gauze to apply firm pressure.
  2. While riding home, wear a seat belt.  Plan to rest for the remainder of the day and through the night.  IMPORTANT…If you have received IV Sedation or if you are taking narcotic pain medication, change positions slowly (Lying down to sitting up, sitting to standing).  Do not try to get up and walk, even to the bathroom, without help on the first day.  Do not attempt to drive today or operate any other dangerous machinery.
  3. Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the rest of the day.  Do not spit.  Rinsing and spitting dislodge the blood clots, which have formed in the extraction sites, and may cause excessive bleeding, pain, and delayed healing.
  4. You may experience noticeable swelling.  Swelling will usually increase for 2 to 3 days before it begins to go down.  It may take a week to completely disappear and there may be some bruising of the skin as the swelling subsides.  You may apply an ice pack to your cheeks in the area of the extraction to help lessen the swelling.  The ice pack, if used, should be applied intermittently leaving it on for approximately 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes.
  5. Restrict your diet to very soft foods and liquids.  Do not use a straw, the sucking action may dislodge the blood clots.  Do not drink hot liquids until the numbness from your anesthesia has completely disappeared.
  6. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages today or any time while you are taking narcotic medications.  Do not smoke on the day of the surgery.  Smoking will drastically delay healing and cause increased pain.


  1. Begin brushing your teeth normally taking care not to disturb the surgical site.  Soak your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water) at least 4 times per day.
  2. As the extraction site is healing, you will probably notice a “hole” that you can feel with your tongue.  Rinse after eating to prevent food from being trapped in this area.  The hole will gradually heal and fill in from the bottom so that within several weeks it will not be noticeable.  You may have some sensitivity of the teeth next to the extraction sites to hot and cold until the extraction sites heal.
  3. Gradually return to your normal diet.  There may be stiffness and soreness in your jaws for several days.  It may take some time before you can open your mouth as widely as you could before surgery.
  4. Sutures are often placed across the extraction sites to hold the gum tissue together to minimize bleeding and aid in healing.  These sutures will dissolve on their own.
  5. Pain and discomfort should gradually decrease after surgery.  If your pain increases after the third day, particularly if the pain is felt as an earache or is not controlled by your pain medication, arrange to be seen at our office as we may be able to help you with this discomfort.