Post-Operative Instructions
Care Of The Mouth

Following Extraction


  1. DO NOT rinse the mouth, DO NOT use a straw and DO NOT smoke the day of surgery.
  2. If instructed to do so, apply an ice bag or cold compress to the cheek for 20-30 minutes per hour.
  3. Ice compresses.  ONLY the first 8-12 hours the day of surgery.
  4. After 24 hours, begin rinsing the mouth gently, 3-5 times a day, using up a full glass of hot water, in which a half teaspoonful of salt has been dissolved.  Continue this for seven days.  If you cannot get a supply of salt, use the hot water anyway.
  5. After 48 hours begin applying a hot water bottle or hot wet towel, wrung out dry, to the cheek for 10-20 minutes, 3-5 times a day.  Continue heat compress for 6 days.
  6. Keep taking nourishment.  Try not to skip a single meal.  Begin by eating liquid or soft things such as heavy soup, milk, toast, soft boiled eggs, milk and cream, or well-cooked cereal.  As soon as possible get on to solid food.  You will feel better, have more strength, less pain and heal faster.  If you continue to eat.  Drink at least 8 glasses of liquids daily.
  7. If you have severe pain, fever or bodily illness get in touch with this office.
  8. You may notice that some small stitches have been placed in the gums.  These are to be removed by the dentist about the 7th or 8th day after operation.


In Case Of Bleeding


  1. After your teeth were removed, a gauze or cotton compress was placed on the wound and you were asked to keep your jaws closed firmly for 20-30 minutes.  This was to help stop bleeding and keep saliva away from the open tooth socket.  This compress may be discarded after 20-30 minutes. 
  2. Should slight bleeding continue, it is a good plan to put a piece of fresh gauze on the bleeding place in the same manner, large enough so that it applies pressure when the jaws are closed.  Hold it thus for 20-30 minutes by the clock.  This may have to be repeated 5 to 6 times. 
  3. If the bleeding continues in spite of the above, lightly dampen a tea bag or make a small amount of strong tea, boiling it for 5 minutes, then soak a gauze pad in the tea, and place firmly over the surgical site.  Close the jaws tightly to make pressure.  Hold it this way for 20 minutes by the clock. 
  4. If these measures do not succeed, phone or come to the office.
  5.  It also helps to stop bleeding if you will lie down, with the head raised on several pillows.  Apply an ice bag or cold compress to the cheek on that side.  Do not become alarmed or excited.  The average person can lose a pint of blood without ill effects.  Do not take tea, coffee, or other stimulants.


Explanation Of Symptoms That May Occur

  1. Swelling, to some extent, follows nearly every tooth extraction.  This is Nature's way of beginning the healing process.  It does not mean infection has set in providing there is no fever, pain, etc.  After the removal of impacted teeth or trimming of the bone, swelling is often quite severe.  It is most marked on the 2nd or 3rd day, and begins to disappear on the 5th day. 
  2. Stiffness of the jaws is also Nature's way of splinting and resting the part which needs to be repaired, and usually relaxes about the 4th or 6th day. 
  3. Black and blue marks on the face are caused by bleeding internally, into the cheeks or chin.  This appears first as swelling, but after the second or third day it may discolor the face yellow, black or blue.  It will gradually disappear in a week or ten days.