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Post-Operative Instructions for Tooth Extraction

  1. It is normal for saliva to be streaked with blood for 1–2 days. If bleeding occurs, place moist gauze over extraction site and bite down for 30–45 minutes.
  2. Following dental surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort. If medication has been prescribed, take as instructed.
  3. A liquid or soft diet is advisable during the first 24 hours. Keep hydrated by drinking fluids such as water and Gatorade. Do not drink beverages with carbonation including soft drinks, club soda, energy drinks, and seltzer.
  4. If swelling or stiffness occur, place cold towels or an ice bag to your face for the first 6–8 hours. Apply for 15 minutes and then remove for 15 minutes.
  5. Do NOT use mouth rinse (including Listerine, Scope) for 5 days following your tooth removal.
  6. On the morning following surgery, rinse mouth with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup of warm water). Repeat this several times daily.
  7. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket.
  8. Do NOT use drinking straws, drink carbonated beverages, spit, or smoke for 48 hours following surgery. These actions are proven to cause a condition called dry socket.
  9. Contact this office if undue symptoms develop.
  10. Please follow any other instructions given to you during your extraction visit.

Want to learn more? See Tooth Extraction.