After Tooth Extraction

The following instructions will assist in making your recovery as smooth as possible.  If you have any questions about your progress, please call the office at (270) 759-4063 or (731) 885-7891.


Bite down firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the extraction site for 30 minutes after you leave the office.  The gauze may be gently removed after the first 30 minutes.  If bleeding persists, place a new, folded gauze directly over the surgical site for another 30 minutes and bite down firmly.  If bleeding continues, you may bite down on a warm, moist tea bag for another 30 minutes.  Be sure that the gauze or tea bag is placed directly over the surgical site.  If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.  Intermittent, mild bleeding is not unusual for 12 to 24 hours after surgery.


The first day’s intake should consist of liquids and very soft foods like soup, pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, mashed potatoes, and well-cooked vegetables.  Advance your diet to more solid foods as you tolerate it after the first day.  It is best to avoid foods like nuts, popcorn, chips, and crackers over the first three days.  Avoid forceful sucking through a straw.


If you received a prescription for pain medicine, follow the directions on the bottle.  If you take the first pain pill before the numbing medication has worn off, you should be able to manage the discomfort better.  It is usually best to precede each pain pill with a small amount of soft food to help prevent nausea.  You may find it helpful to supplement the stronger prescription pain medicine with another analgesic such as ibuprofen (Advil) (400 to 600mg every six hours).  This may be used between doses of the stronger pain medicine.  Do not take ibuprofen if you have been intolerant or allergic to it in the past.  Avoid taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) along with your prescription pain medicine.  If you need additional prescription pain medicine, please call our office.

Most pain should decrease after the first two to three days.  If your pain increases dramatically after the fourth day, please notify our office.


Do not disturb the surgical site today.  You may brush your teeth gently tonight.  Tomorrow, begin rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (one teaspoon table salt in an 8 ounce glass of warm water) after each meal and at bedtime.  You may gently rinse the sockets with the provided syringe the day after surgery with salt water.  Place tip of syringe into socket and flush.


Swelling is normal for the first three to four days.  Swelling can be minimized by applying a cold pack, ice bag, or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and placed firmly on the cheek, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, during the first 24 hours after surgery.  Elevating your head on two pillows while sleeping (over the first three days) can also help control swelling.  If your swelling dramatically increases after the third day, please notify our office.


You may or may not have stitches in your mouth.  If they are black (silk) they should be removed in 7 to 10 days.  Clear or tan-colored stitches will usually fall out or dissolve in 2 to 7 days.


You should avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for at least 48 hours after surgery to allow proper wound healing.


You should not drive or operate any type of motorized vehicle or machinery the day of surgery or while taking the prescription pain medicine.  You can usually return to work one to two days after surgery.


If you feel something hard or sharp in the areas of the surgery, it is likely bone that once supported the tooth.  Occasionally, small slivers of bone may work themselves out through the gum over the first couple of weeks.  If the bone causes you concern or discomfort, please call the office.


We are more than happy to see you back in the office or speak with you regarding any problems or questions that you may have.  Feel free to call (270) 759-4063 or (731) 885-7891.  A 24-hour answering service is available to contact the doctor on call after hours as needed for emergencies. (If either of these numbers does not seem to be connecting properly, you may also call (270) 762-1100 and ask them to call Dr. Bobo.)