After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times, but usually not.  It is normal to have some continued mild oozing from the area.  For more information on bleeding see the section about “Wisdom Tooth Removal” .

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not  suck on straws, smoke, spit, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities can dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for about one week, as this can increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.  For surgical extractions, it is normal to have some swelling that is usually maximized 2-3 days after surgery and will gradually decrease after that.  Bruising may occur.  Increased pain or swelling starting 5 days after surgery could represent infection and you should contact the office.

Please refer to the section entitled “Wisdom Tooth Removal” for more detailed instructions if you have had I.V. sedation or anesthesia, or if the answer to your question is not found on this page.  There, you will also find information about dry sockets, allergic reactions, sutures and more.


The following information is for healthy adult size patients only, who have normal liver and kidney function and who are not taking other medications.  Please ask your doctor about dosing for children or in special circumstances.  You may begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off.  For mild to moderate pain, Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken.  Ibuprofen, bought over-the-counter comes in 200 mg tablets:  2-3 tablets may be taken every 6-8 hours as needed for pain.  Taking the medication regularly every 6-8 hours for two days or more will greatly enhance the effects of the medication.  Patients who do this tend to have less pain than those who do not.  Tylenol may be taken instead of Ibuprofen, but be aware that your prescription pain medication may also contain Tylenol.  For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed on the bottle, in addition to Ibuprofen or instead of regular Tylenol, unless otherwise directed.  The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes, alertness, and concentration.  Do not drive a vehicle, work around machinery or other dangerous areas such as a hot stove, and do not be responsible for child care.  DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages.  For most patients, pain or discomfort following surgery will subside each day after the 3rd day.  If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.  DO NOT take any of the above medication if you are allergic, have had a reaction to, or have been instructed by any doctor not to take it.

Maximum dose of Ibuprofen is 800 mg every six hours and 3200 mg in 24 hours.

Maximum dose of Tylenol is 1000 mg every six hours and 3000 mg in 24 hours.

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