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    Thread: CARE AFTER AN EXTRACTION - Answers to FAQ

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Aug 2006

      Default CARE AFTER AN EXTRACTION - Answers to FAQ

      Dos and don'ts

      1) It is normal for the area to be tender for the first few days, and in most cases simple over-the-counter pain relief is enough to ease any discomfort. Start taking painkillers immediately afterwards - don't wait until pain sets in! It is far easier to prevent pain than to make it go away. Avoid disprin/aspirin as this thins the blood and can make your mouth bleed. The most common painkillers are ibuprofen and paracetamol. Always check with your dentist or pharmacist which painkillers you are allowed to take, especially if you have any other health conditions.

      2) Go home, rest and take it easy for the rest of the day. Any exertions may cause the wound to bleed, so don't exercise for at least 12 to 24 hours. Do not bend over or do heavy lifting for 2-3 days.

      3) Do not smoke or consume products containing nicotine (even e-cigs).

      4) Rinse gently 2-3 times daily with salt water or chlorhexidine mouthwash for 1 minute.

      5) Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, as it could delay the healing process.

      6) If it bleeds, bite onto a moistened gauze pad or piece of cotton wool (folded thick enough to bite on) and press for 5-10 minutes. If this doesnt stop the bleeding, moisten a tea bag with water and fold it in half and bite down on it for 30 minutes. The tannin in black tea helps stop bleeding. Some slight bleeding for the first day or so is normal. But if you still bleed more heavily after an hour or two, contact your dentist.

      7) Do not constantly spit or rinse out. This will only cause the area to continue to bleed. You shouldn't rinse for the first 24 hours. After this initial period you should gently rinse 4 times a day using warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Do not spit out forcefully! Rinse after every meal and snack, making sure the water removes any bits of food around the area where the tooth is missing.

      8) Avoid sucking through straws and blowing your noise (unless you have to).

      9) Ice packs will reduce swelling and bruising.

      10) Make sure you clean your teeth. This will reduce the volume of bacteria in your mouth and reduce the chance of infection. Be careful though not to dislodge the blood clot when brushing near the extraction site for 2-4 days. You can carefully wipe the area with a clean, wet gauze pad.

      11) If you want to lie down on the day of surgery, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head up with pillows if possible.

      12) Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yoghurts, milkshakes, mashed potatoes etc. A Vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. Avoid spicy foods, hot drinks and sodas for 3-4 days to prevent irritation and burns.

      How will the wound look in the next few days?

      A clot will start off being red and then as it breaks down it will go yellow/grey/white. This is normal. It may look red later on and that means new blood vessels are growing and the site is healing normally.

      I'm in pain what do I do?

      Ice to reduce swelling.
      If all else fails then see your dentist.

      Swelling and sometimes bruising can occur, especially with wisdom teeth. The worst swelling, pain and jaw stiffness normally occurs 2 or 3 days after surgery. On the day of the surgery, apply ice packs for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off until bedtime. This will keep swelling to a minimum. Also keep your head elevated until bedtime. Moist heat after 36 hours may help jaw soreness. Arnica cream can help with the swelling.

      Do I have a dry socket and how can I manage?

      Follow the dos and don'ts

      You may notice a very bad smell coming from the socket and you will experience pain for several days after the extraction. See your dentist to have the site irrigated and a dressing placed. If you're in a lot of pain then over the counter painkillers or stronger ones prescribed from your gp should do the trick.
      This is not an infection so antibiotics will not help. You will just have to wait and be patient until the wound heals.

      Will I need antibiotics after an extraction?

      Usually not.
      You only need antibiotics if a facial swelling is getting worse or if you are starting to get a temperature.
      Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and the majority of extraction wounds do not become infected.
      If you've been prescribed antibiotics, follow the instructions and make sure you finish the course.

      (Thanks to GentleDental for providing large parts of this information)

      For more tips, see

    2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to takingflight For This Useful Post:

      bun (15th November 2016), carole (1st May 2016), Darcy25 (7th December 2017), Enarete (16th February 2018), geekesmind (4th March 2017), niceuy62 (23rd May 2016), Redburr (24th September 2016)

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