After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal. In order to decrease bleeding and form the necessary blood clot for healing, please bite on (do not chew) the provided gauze for approximately 45 minutes. Additional gauze is provided in the instance the initial gauze becomes saturated. To place a new gauze dressing, first moisten the gauze with water, fold it in half, place over the surgical site and bite down. A small amount of blood may ooze overnight. REMEMBER: Don’t smoke, suck through a straw, or spit for at least 48 hours. These activities tend to dislodge the clot, which can cause increased discomfort (often referred to as a dry socket).
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. Swelling peaks in 48–72 hours and then gradually decreases. To minimize swelling, apply ice packs to the area of surgery, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first 24-36 hours. After 36 hours ice is ineffective.
Some discomfort after surgery can be expected. You should begin taking pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate discomfort, 2-3 Advil (400-600mg Ibuprofen), may be taken every 5-6 hours. For greater discomfort, the prescribed medication can be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you have any allergy to it. Do not drive, operate machinery, or drink alcohol if taking prescription pain medication.
Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink anything hot for the first day. This tends to dissolve the blood clot and can burn the anesthetized tissue. Please eat a normal healthy diet but avoid hard foods such as popcorn and nacho chips. Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, you may gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. water) 8 hours after surgery. Continue the rinses 4-5 times a day for the first few days. The day after surgery, the prescription mouth rinse (if prescribed) should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to gently rinse for at least 30 seconds then let it roll out of your mouth. Do not swallow or spit vigorously. You may also gently brush your teeth being extra careful around the surgical site.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of yellow, green, or blue discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively.
If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Call the office if you have any questions.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur.
If you have any questions regarding these instructions please ask Dr. Philibin or one of our staff. If any questions arise after leaving our office do not hesitate to call our office at 330- 856-7111.
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