Anesthetics

Since numbness is caused by anesthetics, the total amount of time that you experience numbness depends on what anesthetic you’ve been given. If your mouth is numb, make sure that you don’t accidently bite your tongue, lip or cheek.

It shouldn’t take more than a few hours for the numbness to wear off. However, you might feel drowsy for several hours after you’ve been sedated. The pain medications prescribed for the procedure can also cause drowsiness. It’s very important that you never operate machinery or vehicles while drowsy.

Bleeding

To limit bleeding, your dentist will put a gauze pack on the extraction site. The gauze is also effective at keeping the blood confined to the extraction site. Without the gauze, the blood at the extraction site won’t be able to clot properly. After the gauze has been applied, you need to bite down on it for 20 minutes. You should never chew the gauze because it will cause additional bleeding.

It’s normal for the extraction site to produce a small amount of bleeding. If you feel that the gauze isn’t properly containing the bleeding, you can replace the gauze but make sure to dampen it before use. Biting the gauze for 20 minutes is very important.

If you’ve followed these instructions, and you’re still experiencing persistent bleeding, you can soak a tea bag and wrap it with the gauze. Place the wrapped, dampened tea bag firmly over the source of the bleeding. Make sure to close your teeth and apply pressure to the gauze.

You should make sure to lie down and keep your head elevated above your heart. For at least two days following the procedure, you should never use a straw to suck thick liquids because the suction can dislodge the blood clot.

If you experience excessive bleeding throughout the night and get concerned, you can call our office. If you can’t reach anyone at the office, you should seek treatment at the nearest hospital emergency room. It’s important to remember that a little bit of blood mixed with saliva can look like a huge amount of blood.

Swelling

Following an extraction, swelling is quite normal. If you want to reduce the swelling, you can apply a cold compress to your face for about 20 minutes.

After each session of 20 minutes, take the ice off for five minutes. The best time to reduce the swelling is during the first 24 hours.

When lying down, always make sure to keep your head elevated because it helps to minimize bleeding. It can take up to three days for the swelling to really start going away. If you experience swelling three days after the extraction, you can apply moist heat compresses to your face.

Rinsing

There is nothing wrong with rinsing your mouth. You can use mouthwash or warm salt water. You can even brush your teeth, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t brush over the extraction areas. It’s safe to start gently brushing over the extraction sites after three days.

You should try to rinse your mouth after every meal because you need to keep food particles out of the extraction site. The provided syringe is a great tool that you can use to flush food particles out of the wound.

Diet

After the surgery, a proper diet is very important. Initially, try to eat nothing but soft foods. You should return to eating your typical diet when you feel that it’s safe to do so. After the surgery, you should be drinking lots of fruit juice and water.

Smoking/Drinking

You should not drink or smoke until at least three days following the surgery. The reason why you shouldn’t smoke is because it hinders your body’s ability to heal, and smoking is also the main cause of dry sockets, which can be very painful.

Other possible side effects

Unfortunately, all surgical procedures can come with a number of different side effects. You might experience a slight fever for up to 48 hours after the procedure. If you experience a temperature increase for longer than 48 hours, make sure to contact our office.

Following surgery, it’s not uncommon for other teeth to ache, which is called sympathetic pain. You can use warm compresses to treat stiffness of the jaw. Gentle massaging of the jaw can also help.

Emergency

If you’ve just had surgery and feel that you need emergency treatment, come to the office during regular business hours. If our office isn’t opened, try to reach someone at the emergency number. If you can’t reach anyone and feel that you need emergency treatment, visit your local hospital.

ADVISORY: If you had sedation for your procedure, it is recommended to have adult supervision for 24 hours.