Care of the mouth following extractions

You have just had an extraction and this information is to compliment what has just been explained to you in surgery, so don’t worry that you did not remember all of what we have just gone through. Below is an aftercare list which we recommend you follow for the next two weeks.

  1. DO NOT eat and drink until after the effects of the local anaesthetic wear off (this will take 3-4 hours).  Following this, ensure you eat and drink with care, avoiding the sites where the teeth have been removed.
  2. Slight bleeding for a while is quite normal.  However, if this occurs do not rinse or spit out as this will increase the bleeding, just swallow gently and the bleeding will stop naturally.
  3. If the bleeding persists, roll up a clean handkerchief (not tissue) or the gauze provided, place it over the extraction site and bite hard on it for at least twenty minutes. An alternative would be biting on a clean, cold, used teabag.
  4. Avoid sport or strenuous exercise for 24 hours as this can encourage bleeding.  Sit down comfortably at home for the first few hours.
  5. Avoid smoking, alcohol and very hot drinks for 12 hours, as these will also encourage bleeding.  Smoking may result in a painful infection called a dry socket.
  6. Starting on the day after the extraction, rinse the area after meals with warm saline (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of hot water).
  7. DO take painkillers if you start to have pain as the anaesthetic wears off.  Paracetamol or Ibuprofen are normally suitable for this, but follow the instructions provided if you have asthma or stomach problems.
  8. Before going to bed on the day you have had the extraction (if this is at least four hours after the extraction), clean your mouth with care.  Use a soft brush and your usual toothpaste, avoiding the sites where the teeth have been removed. You may find a small blood stain on your pillow in the morning; it is advisable to use an old pillow-case for the first night.
  9. Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. It reaches its maximum 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts 4-6 days. The application of ice after the numbness wears off can help control swelling.
  10. Bruising may also occur in the region of the extraction or where fingers have supported the lower jaw when lower teeth are removed. Swelling is a normal response and should disappear in 7-14 days.
  11. Stiffness in the jaw muscles and limited jaw movement when opening the mouth is normal and should also improve within 10 days.

If you are ; persistently bleeding, suffering from severe swelling or severe pain following the extraction, please contact our practice. In the event that the practice is closed, contact the emergency out of hours number NHS 111 or Denplan emergency line if you are a Denplan patient and let us know as soon as we reopen.