After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process

Immediately Following Surgery

  • Continue biting with firm pressure on the gauze for 1 hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • For the first 24 hours following surgery avoid spitting, rinsing, kissing, drinking carbonated beverages or sucking/drinking from a straw.
  • Avoid smoking for 72 hours after surgery. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • After the first 24 hours begin rinsing with warm salt water after every meal until soft tissue heals
  • After the first 24 hours begin brushing with a soft toothbrush gently around and directly on the  surgical site and other teeth
  • You may eat a soft diet for a few days after surgery to avoid food debris in the surgical sites-leading to possible infection and delayed healing.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed for 48-72 hours (20 minutes on/20 minutes off while awake). Refer to the section on swelling for explanation. Avoid ice if bone grafting procedures were performed.
  • To minimize swelling sleep with your head slightly elevated (approximately 30 degrees or with 2 pillows) for first 24 hours
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  • Restrict your activities the day of and the day after surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.


After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. The pain and swelling usually subsides after 72 hours. Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. Brushing the surgical site gently with a soft toothbrush. This will speed healing, reduce infection and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days, you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, severe swelling (mild/mod swelling is normal), or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at Upper Marlboro Office Phone Number 301-967-0183.

Need More Information?

To learn more about pre-surgery and post-surgery instructions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Russell, call our office.

Call us: 301-967-0183
Appointments Call Us