Patient Instructions After A Tooth Extraction

Immediately Following Surgery

Questions about your Tooth Extraction? Call ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227 to speak to a staff member.

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Do not use straws for at least 72 hours.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing and/or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications, or OTC pain relievers, before you begin to feel discomfort and before the anesthetic is worn off.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for a more thorough explanation.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by gently wiping any old clots from you mouth, and then placing a new, moistened gauze pad over the area with firm biting pressure. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding is persistent, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. To minimize further bleeding minimize activity and sit upright. If bleeding does not subside, please call our office.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.


After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain. Take pain medications as prescribed or over the counter pain relievers. For mild to moderate pain take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 200mg tablets (2 or 3) every 4-6 hours as needed. For moderate to severe pain, take pain medication as prescribed. With pain that is not controlled by prescribed medicine you can take Ibuprofen between doses of prescribed pain medicine. The prescribed pain medicine will likely make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery while on these medications. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking prescribed pain medicine. The pain or discomfort following the extraction should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, or worsens, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Contact the office with any questions or concerns. ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227


Swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling typically doesn’t become apparent until the day after your extraction and will reach it’s maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. It is best to apply ice to the face, in the surgical area, for 10-20 minute intervals. After 24-36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.

Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the swelling and loosening the stiffness of the jaw muscles.


The day of your extraction it is best to stay with a softer, non-chewable diet. It is better to resume your normal diet as soon as tolerated. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the extraction site and avoiding anything hard or crunchy while the wound is healing. Nourishment should be taken regularly and prevent dehydration by increasing your fluid intake. Remember you will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster in you continue to eat.


In some case, discoloration of the skin can follow swelling. The development of black, blue, green or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.


In some cases antibiotics may be prescribed but not on a routine basis. Take as prescribed and until you have finished the full prescription. If stomach upset occurs, it is advised to eat yogurt while taking the antibiotic. Discontinue the antibiotic in the event of a rash and contact the office immediately.

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. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Potential complications

-If numbness of lip, chin or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As reviewed in your consultation, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware of the numbness and use precaution to avoid biting the area.

-Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or Ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.

-You should be careful going from laying down to standing. You could get light headed from low blood sugar or medications. Before standing up, you should sit up for one minute before standing.

-Occasionally, patient may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots or tooth fragments; they are portions of the boney walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, the area can be evaluated by Dr. Ballenger.

-Dry socket is an abnormal healing that occurs in the tooth socket. Symptoms of increasing pain, that typically radiate through the jaw, may occur 3-5 days following your extraction. Call the office at ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227 if this occurs and a medication can be placed to help with pain and healing.


If sutures were placed try not to bother them. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures are dissolving, unless otherwise indicated. They will dissolve in most cases within 7-10 days.

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens, or if unusual symptoms occur, call our office for instructions.

There will be a void where the tooth was removed. The void will fill in with new tissue gradually over the next several weeks. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean with salt water rinses or by irrigation after each meal. If a follow-up appointment was scheduled, this will be given to you at that time. Occasionally the syringe is given at time of extraction with instructions to start using a week after. The syringe should be used to clear food from the surgical site until it has completely healed. Most people find warm water feels better when cleaning the wound. The syringe needs to be used until the socket has completely healed.

Brushing your teeth is good and necessary, just remember to use caution around surgical site.

If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed you need to stop exercising. You are fine to return to your routine with caution and increase as you progressively feel better.

Your case is unique, no two mouths are alike. Discuss any problems with the trained surgical staff at Dr. Ballenger’s office at ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227.