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Post Extraction Advice

A tooth extraction needs to be treated in a similar way to any minor operation to aid healing and prevent complications.  Post extraction, we would recommend that you follow the following advice:

  1. Take care not to bite your tongue, lip or cheek or burn your mouth on hot food or drink whilst your mouth is still numb.  It is best not to eat or drink until the anaesthetic has worn off unless absolutely necessary.  When you do start to eat try and keep to a soft diet for the rest of the day avoiding anything too hot.
  2. Try to rest as much as possible for the rest of the day, keeping your head up and avoiding exercise if possible.
  3. Avoid smoking and alcohol for 24 hours as this can encourage bleeding.
  4. Do NOT rinse your mouth for 24 hours after extraction or disturb the socket as this may cause bleeding.
  5. Brush your teeth as normal taking care around the extraction site.
  6. You may notice some slight bleeding for the first 24 hours or so which mixed with saliva often appears worse than it is.  If this bleeding continues, do not rinse the socket but roll up a clean handkerchief or use a gauze pack which may have been given to you by your dentist and bite on it firmly for 15 minutes.  If the bleeding persists, repeat this procedure with a clean handkerchief or piece of gauze and contact the surgery.
  7. After 24 hours gently rinse with warm salty water (1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 tumbler full of pre-boiled warm water taken from the kettle – NOT hot tap water).  This should be carried out after meals to keep the socket clean.
  8. The extraction site may be a little swollen and tender for a few days, if you need to take pain killers, take what you normally would for a headache.
  9. If the pain does not improve, or is severe, it may be that the blood clot has broken down and you have a ‘dry socket’.  This is where the blood clot that would normally protect the bone of the socket has broken down or not formed properly leaving the bone exposed.PLEASE CONTACT THE SURGERY IMMEDIATELY SHOULD YOU EXPERIENCE THE SYMPTOMS MENTIONED ABOVE.  THE DENTIST MAY HAVE TO GENTLY WASH OUT AND PLACE A SEDATIVE DRESSING IN THE SOCKET AND IN SOME CASES PRESCRIBE ANTIBIOTICS.
  10. You may feel some sharp areas around the socket – these are often small pieces of bone that generally work their way out and this is quite normal.

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