After an Extraction

The following list is important information after you have had a tooth extraction.

  • With pressure, keep biting on the gauze pad for 20 minutes

  • If heavy bleeding persists make a thick clean pad and bite on it for another 15 minutes.  (However, refrain from placing more gauze pads if blood is only oozing as this can increase bleeding).

  • If your lip is numb, be careful not to bite it.

  • It is critical to rest during the next 4 hours. Sitting upright is best. Minimize walking about or anything  that increases blood pressure.

  • Do not rinse for at least 4 hours (so that blood clot is not washed out). Instead reduce the bad taste by scraping your tongue with a wet facewasher or gauze.

  • After 4 hours you may rinse with warm salt water (1/2 -1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water).

  • Do not have anything too hot, too cold or too hard for the rest of the day.

  • Maintain fluids and diet of soft nutritious food (for example, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, milk).

  • An ice pack (e.g frozen peas) can help reduce any swelling.

  • For pain take an analgesic such as paracetamol or nurofen.

  • Contact us if excessive bleeding continues or if there is fever or severe swelling.

  • Note that smoking is associated with hugely increased risk of infection and "dry sockets".

After one night has passed, hot salty mouthrinses every couple of hours will reduce the risk of infection (called "dry socket"). For lower molar extractions use the syringe if provided to aid in flushing the area.

Download PDF information sheet.