Tooth Extraction Recovery

Tooth extraction wounds usually heal quickly and without complications if simple precautions are taken. However, these wounds should not be neglected, and should receive certain special attention. Your cooperation is essential to proper tooth extraction recovery.


Minor swelling is a frequent reaction to the extraction of a tooth or teeth and is not cause for concern. Bruising may also occur. You may experience some discomfort after the effects of the anesthetic wear off. Most discomfort and swelling can be minimized by application of cold to the affected side of the face immediately following the extraction. Use of an ice bag or cold moist cloth for thirty minutes of each hour should be maintained for approximately 48 hours.


A blood clot will form in the extraction site and should be given time to heal without being disturbed. Therefore, the mouth should not be rinsed the day of the extraction. After the first day a mixture of warm saltwater, 1/2 teaspoon salt per 6 oz. water, may be used to gently rinse following meals. The teeth should be brushed as usual paying attention to avoid the immediate extraction area the first 24 hours. A syringe will be provided for lower wisdom teeth extractions only. After 24 hours place the tip of the syringe completely in the socket and flush the area with saltwater or regular water following every meal.

Some oozing of blood may continue for a short time after the extraction and may persist for a few days. To control any oozing, bite firmly on gauze pads for 90-120 minutes. Extra sterile gauze will be provided but refrain from changing too often as this can disrupt the clot from forming.

If after a few hours some oozing persists, bite on a moistened tea bag in the extraction area. Notify the office if extensive bleeding, not oozing, continues after 24 hours; oozing may persist for a few days.

Please refrain from driving any vehicles or operating heavy machinery while taking any pain medication with narcotics (such as Tylenol 3, Vicodin or Norco).

Proper diet

To aid in the healing process you should eat soft nutritious foods for the first few days. Eggs, soup, chopped meats and yogurt are some examples of options. Solid food can be added as soon as you can chew comfortably. Nuts, crunchy or spicy foods and seedy foods should be avoided the first few days. Do not drink through a straw or smoke the first 72 hours. This may cause a dry socket which can be extremely painful.

Pain in the region of the extraction, tightness in the movement of the jaw muscles causing limited opening of the mouth, are normal reactions after an extraction. Please follow all instructions on the medications that we have given you. Remember that you had surgery and it will take some time to return to normal.

Contacting Our Office During Tooth Extraction Recovery

If you have any concerns or are experiencing pain that is increasing as time goes by, you may contact our office. A doctor is on call 24 hours a day to assist you in case of an extreme emergency.

Questions or Concerns about Your Procedure?

If you are experiencing extreme pain following a procedure, please contact our office via phone:

Lincoln Park: (773) 327-3131

Orland Park: (708) 460-6900

Otherwise, please request an appointment by clicking the button below and a member of our team will be in contact with you soon.

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