Surgical Home Care Instructions


You have just had a surgical operation that must be cared for as follows:


The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of anesthetic you’ve received. While your mouth is numb, you’ll want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue also. Please avoid hot liquids or foods until you regain feeling to the area. Numbness should subside within a few hours.


Bite on the gauze for at least a ½ hour or until you are home and resting comfortably. Avoid disturbing the blood clot by “feeling it with your tongue “, sucking (straws) at it or spitting may cause additional bleeding. If excessive bleeding continues, place clean folded gauze or a tea bag over the extraction socket and bite down for an additional hour. Should excessive bleeding persist, contact the office immediately.

No Smoking

Smoking disturbs the formation of a stable blood clot, and may result in a condition called a “dry socket”, a very painful experience. Avoid smoking for at least 4 days following your surgery.


Select soft bland foods (soups, boiled eggs, custards, milk shakes, cooked cereal, applesauce, etc.) for the first 1 to 2 days, then slowly add non-starchy foods, be sure to drink large amounts of fluid.

Rinsing & Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse with water on the day of the extraction, but starting the following day, gently rinse the mouth after meals with lukewarm salt water. You may start cleaning your teeth with a soft toothbrush the following day after the extraction, gently clean the extraction area.


To minimize post-extraction discomfort, take the medication that was prescribed for you as directed, in routine extraction cases where no medication was prescribed; you may take any over the counter pain medication of your choice depending on your tolerance. Some tenderness is anticipated, but moderate to severe pain persisting for more then 7 days following extraction may indicate poor healing. If this is the case, you are encouraged to contact the office for observation and treatment.


Swelling is normal for 1-4 days following your surgery. Place ice pack or ice wrapped in towel over operated area. Keep on for five minutes, then off for five minutes. Repeat this for 24 hours immediately after arriving home. If your swelling goes down and then returns a day or two later, please contact the office.


Antibiotics, if prescribed, may interfere with the protection effected by birth control pills. If you are presently taking birth control pills, please use an alternative method of protection during this time.


Everyone reacts differently to surgery and no two surgeries are alike. Friends and family, even those who have had experience with oral surgery, can not possibly know exactly what you had done. Please discuss any concerns with your surgeon.

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