Dental Extractions

After a dental extraction, it is important to rest. If you are active, you may feel more discomfort. Sometimes after minor oral surgery you may have pain, bleeding and swelling. Proper care after dental extractions will help your mouth heal quickly and cleanly.

Post - Surgical Instructions

  • Rest
  • Bite gauze pad to apply constant pressure in intervals of 45-60 minutes, repeating as often as      needed, or until bleeding lessens.  Change the gauze as needed. 
  • Keep up oral hygiene by brushing the entire mouth including areas around surgical site, however avoid disturbing sutures if present.
  • Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol as it may irritate the wound.
  • Until the socket is completely healed, try to eat soft foods and make sure socket is kept free of food debris.
  • Place cold compresses on extraction areas to minimize swelling.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Do not smoke for 1 week after surgery as smoking increases the risk of infection and dry socket and causes decrease in healing.

Possible Complications After Surgery


Feeling some pain is normal, usually in the first 24 to 48 hours after your extraction. Some soreness or discomfort at the site of the surgery may last for 3 to 5 days. You may be prescribed pain medication to manage your discomfort. It is important to let us know about other medications or herbal supplements you are taking.  Take the medication exactly as it was prescribed.

Sore jaw:

It is normal for your muscles to be sore and to have difficulty opening your mouth for 7-10 days. You can gently massage your muscles and eat soft foods that are easy to chew. Heat compresses can be placed on sore muscles after the first 24 hours post extraction.


Having some bleeding for the first few days after surgery is normal. Keep firm and constant pressure on the gauze by bitting on it for at least 1 hour to decrease the amount of bleeding while the blood clot forms. Make sure you rest and keep your head elevated to decrease blood circulation and ensuring faster healing. Avoid hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soup as these increase blood circulation and bleeding can start again.


Swelling may happen in the first 24 hours after extraction and it may last for 1 week. Bruising may also occur and could last for up to 10 days after your surgery. On the first day after surgery, apply a  cold compress for 10 minutes at a time. On the second day after surgery, put something warm on the swollen area as the warmth will increase blood flowing and decrease swelling. Be careful as you may burn your skin if compresses are too cold or too hot.

Dry Socket:

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot in the socket is lost or irritated before healing is complete and air, food, or fluid can gain access to extraction site and cause pain. This generally occurs 2 days after extraction and smokers are at higher risk. If this occurs, please call our office. 

Bone or tooth fragments:

Small fragments of tooth or bone may be left after an extraction. Your own body will try to get rid of these fragments and you may feel sharp pieces coming through the gums or wound. Please call our office so these can be removed.