After a tooth extraction or minor oral surgery

Immediately after extraction:

  • Bite the gauze pack and keep firm pressure on it for 15 to 30 minutes, then discard it. Change the compress as needed.
  • If any bleeding occurs, place a new gauge pack or a moistened tea bag and bite down on it for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for one to two days (Ex. Soups, yogourts, fruit milkshakes, smoothies, mash potatoes, etc.).
  • Chew on the opposite side of your mouth to the wound.


  • Avoid hot food, spicy food, hard food, hot drinks and sodas for 3 to 4 days.
  • Avoid excessive activity for at least 24 hours.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth.
  • Avoid fingers, pencil or any other object in the mouth.
  • Avoid biting or sucking a numb lip, cheek or tongue.
  • Avoid spiting or sucking through a straw.
  • Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing violently.
  • Avoid lying down flat. Relax but keep the head elevated.
  • Avoid Aspirin.

Pain and discomfort:

  • Pain or discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled by taking the pain medication you were prescribed. The usual painkillers of choice are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, Atasol). DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN. Do not apply the drug to the wound itself.
  • The following day and after:
  • You can gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt solution (dissolve one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water).
  • Brush the surgical area gently.
  • Swelling after extraction is a normal body reaction. Swelling reaches it maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually last 4 to 6 days. To control the swelling, you can apply icepacks over the area for the first 24 hours (no longer than 20 minutes at a time).
  • If you have been prescribed antibiotics, follow the instructions and make sure you finish the course.
  • Some people can experience difficulty in opening the mouth. This normally subsides after a few days.
  • If stiches were placed in the area of your surgery, we’ll tell you if and when they need to be removed (usually after one week).
  • You may experience some mild bruising in the area of the surgery. It will disappear after 7-14 days.

Call our office if…

  • You experience discomfort you cannot control with your painkillers.
  • You have bleeding that cannot be control by biting on a gauze.
  • You have increased swelling after the third day following surgery.
  • You have fever.
  • You have a reaction to the medication.
  • You have any questions.