"What Happens After My Tooth Extraction?"

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→ Here’s everything you need to know from Dr. Nkungula to help prepare for dental care after your visit: 

Post – Operative Mouth Care

Care of the mouth following a surgical procedure is essential in the healing process.

Bleeding: Some bleeding and oozing is normal for several hours after your procedure.

  • Avoid spitting, use of a straw and smoking.
  • Bite down on gauze pack in mouth for 20-30 minutes and then discard or change if necessary.
  • If bleeding is more than slight, bite down firmly on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes.

Discomfort: If prescription was given, use as directed.

  • Take prescription as soon as you get home and before local anesthesia (numbing) wears off.
  • Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach as it may cause nausea.
  • If no prescription was given, over-the-counter medications (e.g. Aspirin, Advil) can be taken.

Swelling: Some degree of swelling is normal and can be minimized with the use of cold and hot gel pack – the table below is a guide.

COLD
PLACE IN FREEZER FOR 30 MINUTES
HOT
10-15 SECONDS IN MICROWAVE
WHEN USED? Day 1-2 Day 3 onwards
HOW OFTEN? 2-3 times daily 2-3 times daily as needed
WHY? Control and manage swelling Bone and gum healing and repair

Diet: A soft or liquid diet is recommended for the first few days following surgery.

  • Until local anesthesia (numbness) wears off, be careful chewing to prevent biting the numb area.

Care of mouth: Do not rinse your mouth vigorously for the first 24 hours after surgery as vigorous rinsing interferes with clot formation and slows healing

  • After 24 hours,begin gentle warm salt water rinses for one week at extraction site and resume gentle brushing of remaining teeth.
  • Avoid use of alcohol, smoking or carbonated drinks for 1-2 days after surgery.

Note: Antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of birth control medications.  Additional methods of birth control should be used while on antibiotics.

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