Advice on what to do after an extraction (specialy following a surgical extraction) when you leave the dental practice.

The anaesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth and tongue feeling numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing for two hours following surgery, or until the numbness has completely worn off.


 After you leave the office, you should be somewhat still, without strenuous activity, for about eight hours.


Don't suck or spit, as this will inhibit the formation of a blood clot. A blood clot will form on the extraction site, and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw, and do not spit vigorously.


Do not eat, drink or rinse your mouth for 2 hours after the extraction.


Do not smoke at least 24 hours after the extraction. Smoking is increasing the risk for infection in the extraction site.


Some discomfort after the extraction is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin is usually sufficient.


Some persistent bleeding is normal. Expect your saliva to be tinged with blood for several hours.


Sometimes there will be swelling afterward. The more extensive the surgery that was required to remove the tooth, the more swelling there will be. Swelling occurs the first day and then usually peaks the second day. If you continue to swell beyond the second day, you should contact the dentist-you may have an infection. You can minimize the swelling in two ways: with ice packs applied to your face near the surgery for the first two days, and then by keeping your head elevated at night. Use an extra pillow. A raised head keeps fluids from accumulating in the head area.


Keep the area of the surgery as clean as you can. The gentlest rinse you can use, when you've had a surgical incision, is warm salt water. You mix about half a teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce cup of water, and then swish with that. Starting the day after surgery, you can brush the teeth next to the extraction site. Do this gently, however, because there is a risk of tearing the tissue that has just been sutured. Stay on your teeth only-don't brush your gums as you may be used to doing. But cleanliness is very important. Food particles promote the growth of bacteria, which cause infections. You need to get rid of these food particles for proper healing. If it was wisdom teeth that were removed, it's going to be hard to keep the area clean, but it's going to be extra important, because those surgical sites are some of the most prone to getting infected. Eat only soft things the day of the surgery-fluids, milk, ice cream, puddings, etc. Starting the second day, you can start trying to eat other foods only if you feel up to it. The best advice here is to listen to your body and not push yourself to eat things you don't have the strength to chew.


 In the case of lower wisdom tooth extraction,You might have pain and it may be hard to open your mouth very wide. This is normal. Your pain should lessen and your ability to open your mouth should improve some each day. If these things don't get better, it could signal an infection and you should call your dentist.


If antibiotics were prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.