6 essential guidelines to follow after a tooth extraction

Patients are advised to follow these guidelines to care for themselves after a routine tooth extraction.

Some extractions require additional advice. Your dentist will advise you about this prior to your extraction.

1. Rest

Rest for a few hours after treatment and avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise as this can cause bleeding.

2. Numbness

Be careful not to chew the insides of your cheeks, gum or tongue as you could be numb in these areas. This will wear off over the next few hours so be careful with any food or drinks that are very hot or cold and any sharp foods.

3. Pain relief

Take some pain relief a few hours after the extraction so that they start to work whilst the numbness is wearing off. During the week following your extraction you may experience some discomfort, swelling, bruising and stiffness around your mouth. With time and regular use of painkillers this should subside. Alternative therapies such as warm packs or cold packs may also help.

4. Bleeding

Bleeding should stop soon after your extraction but you may find the socket oozes slightly for 24 hours. If you experience any bleeding at home, sit upright with head and shoulders raised. Apply pressure over the area with a small gauze or clean linen for 20 minutes. If after 20 minutes the bleeding continues then please contact Smile Care Dental Clinic if we are open or call 111 if we are not open. Once the bleeding has stopped a blood clot will form over the socket. It is important to try not to knock the blood clot away as it may cause bleeding again.

5. Rinsing

Do not rinse, spit or gargle for 4-6 hours after extraction as this can disrupt healing and cause bleeding.

Mouthwash should be started 24 hours after your surgery. Mix a level teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm/hot (make sure it is not scalding) water. Hold the salt water in the mouth for one minute and gently swish the solution around and then spit out.

Repeat mouthwashes 3-4 times a day after you have eaten to make sure the mouth remains clean.

Do not use any other mouthwashes after the operation unless instructed to do so by your dentist.

6. Smoking & alcohol

No smoking for at least 3 days after your extraction as this can dramatically affect healing and you are much more likely to have a dry socket.

No alcohol for 24 hours after extraction as this can increase bleeding.

Additional care

Some extractions require additional advice. Your dentist will advise you about this prior to your extraction.

If you notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth or discharge please contact us as at Smile Care Dental Clinic.

If you have excessive bleeding, pain that is not controlled with painkillers or abnormal swelling please contact us at 0116 2661422 OR 111 if we are not open.

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