Robert L. Friess DMD
3295 Triangle Drive SE : Ste 242 : Salem, OR 97302
: 503.585.0101

Post Tooth Extraction Tips

After you’ve undergone tooth extraction, proper care is needed to ensure that your mouth heals properly. Following a few simple tips can help to ensure that you heal quickly.


Once the anesthesia has worn off and you no longer feel numb, approximately two hours after the procedure, it is important to begin eating and drinking right away. However, you should limit your diet to soft foods, like soup, yogurt, soft-cooked eggs, and ice cream. Follow this diet for the first 48 hours following your extraction, and drink at least eight glasses of water or juice per day. Avoid hot liquids and drinking out of a straw, as sucking on a straw could dislodge the blood clot in your gums.

Pain Control and Medication

It is common to feel moderate pain and discomfort after the anesthesia wears off, and you can use a non-aspirin pain medication like Tylenol or Aleve to relieve your symptoms. To avoid nausea, don’t take your pain medication on an empty stomach. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to help with the healing process, and it is important to take these medications as prescribed. If you experience skin rash, nausea, or other adverse reactions to a medication, stop taking it right away and call our office.

Bleeding Control

Bleeding and oozing are common immediately after a tooth extraction, but there are ways to control it. Keep your head elevated on several pillows, and use gauze sponges to place over the bleeding gums. Change the gauze pads as necessary, and continue using them until the bleeding stops entirely. If bleeding persists or worsens, feel free to contact our office.

Oral Hygiene

After the extraction, a blood clot will form at the site of the procedure in order to begin the healing process. To keep the clot intact, it is important to make good oral hygiene a priority. About 24 hours after the surgery, you should rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash or a solution of warm saltwater. Do this 2-3 times per day for the week following the tooth extraction. Brush and floss around the extraction site gently for the first 48 hours after the extraction.

Swelling Post Tooth Extraction

It is common to experience swelling after an extraction, especially within the first 48 hours. You can decrease swelling and pain by applying a cold or ice pack 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 6 hours following the extraction.

Other Tips

Following a few other tips can also be helpful during the healing process after your tooth extraction:

  • Take sinus medication if you have allergies or an upper respiratory infection, as sneezing or blowing your nose violently could impair healing by dislodging the blood clot.
  • Avoid smoking for 48 hours after the procedure, as smoking can hinder the healing process.
  • Relax and avoid strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following your procedure.
  • Be prepared for the gap left by the missing tooth to feel strange right away, but eventually new gum tissue and bone will grow into the space.