What To Do and Expect Immediately Following a Tooth Extraction

As with most oral surgery procedures, moderate discomfort and swelling often occur following a tooth extraction. The symptoms begin within the first 12 hours following the surgery and start to decrease after 48 hours. It is important to take care of your surgery site, so please follow these instructions:

  • Keep fingers and tongue away from operated area.
  • Bite firmly on gauze for 30 minutes to stop any bleeding. If bleeding continues, place moist gauze and continue to apply pressure for 30 minutes. Repeat as needed. The gauze may be substituted by a wet tea bag. The acids in the tea bag have a clotting effect.
  • Place a cold pack over the area (20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off) for at least six hours to help reduce swelling, and continue to icing for the next 2 days.
  • At night keep your head elevated with extra pillows for several nights to reduce inflammation.
    • Swelling and discoloration is to be expected in certain areas, usually reaching its maximum two days after surgery. It will disappear gradually and is no cause for concern.
  • Maintain a soft diet for the remainder of the day ? things like warm soup, ice cream, milk shakes (remember: no straws), etc.
  • Drink lots of water, milk or juice.
  • Do not overexert yourself during the next 24 hours.
  • If your discomfort or bleeding continues or worsens, call the office (952-935-5599) for re-examination.
  • You may take over-the-counter analgesics such as Ibuprofen or Advil (taken with food) and Tylenol (as allowed by your physician), which should alleviate any residual discomfort. Do not consume any alcohol while taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol. The Ibuprofen and Tylenol combination should be taken every 6 hours for 48 hours and as needed for pain after that. Do not take Tylenol with prescription pain medications.
  • If you were given prescription medications, take them according to the instructions given.
  • Tomorrow morning, start rinsing gently with warm saltwater (1 tablespoon of salt to 8 ounces of water) rinse every four hours for two days. Rinse and spit saltwater. Do not swallow.
  • Do not chew hard (even on a hard crust of bread or on ice) for 4-6 weeks after having lower wisdom teeth removed
  • Do not participate in any sports where you maybe hit in the jaw.? The lower jaw is temporarily weaker and the bone may crack requiring the jaws to be wired together for healing.

For at Least 4 Days Following a Tooth Extraction DO NOT:

  • Smoke
  • Drink through a straw
  • Drink alcohol, carbonated beverages (e.g. pop), or hot liquids
  • Blow your nose
  • Spit excessively

Any of these things may cause the blood clot over the surgery site to dislodge causing a “dry socket” and resulting in unnecessary pain.


If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 952-935-5599. Your comfort and satisfaction are very important to us.?