After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

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After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.


After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling from surgery will usually peak at 36-48 hours and then gradually decrease over the next several days.


It is normal for post-operative pain to increase in the first 1-2 days along with swelling which usually peaks at about 48 hours. It is also normal in the case where four third molars have been removed for some sites to hurt more than others. It is important to stay ahead of this pain and swelling by following the pain medication recommendations provided by your treating surgeon.

In general, healthy teenagers or adults with no medical contraindications can manage pain by taking 600mg of ibuprofen every six hours and either one extra strength or two regular strength Tylenol every six hours. This will diminish the need to take narcotic pain prescription medication.

If your pain is not managed with the above regimen, the prescription narcotic may be substituted in for the Tylenol – at no time should the prescription narcotic be taken with Tylenol. If you are taking the narcotic medication, it is important that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery.

If pain or swelling persists without improvement, it may be necessary to call the office and be seen for evaluation.


Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

Oral Hygiene

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

You may resume your normal activities after a few days as long as you are feeling fine to do so.

If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Chapel Hill Office Phone Number 919-929-2196.