Post-Op Instructions

Extraction Post-Op Instructions

What can I expect after surgery?

  • Minor bleeding and “oozing” for 1-2 days.
  • Pain and discomfort slowly improving in 1-5 days.
  • Swelling for 1 week, becoming worse on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery.
  • Tightness and stiffness to the jaw and joint areas. Potential bruising.


  • You may be biting on gauze when you leave the clinic. This gauze should remain for 30-60 minutes. After that, you may take the gauze out and observe the extraction area. If it is bleeding like a fresh wound (bright red, dripping blood) bite on additional fresh gauze for approximately 30 more minutes. Repeat as necessary until the area is slightly oozing and blood is dark & clotting.
  • When placing the gauze, ensure that you dampen it prior to placement.


  • Applying ice packs to the area of surgery for the first 24-28 hours following surgery can help reduce swelling. Apply cold packs for increments of no more than 15 minutes.

Oral care

  • Continue to brush your teeth, but avoid the extraction sites for 1-2 weeks.
  • Wait 24 Hours to rinse your mouth with anything. You may gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water rinses (1teaspoon salt to 1 cup of water) 
  • DO NOT SWISH VIGOROUSLY. Gently tilt your head from side to side then let the water spill out into the sink. Start this AFTER 24h.


  • Soft foods that can be eaten with minimal chewing or a liquid diet. DO NOT USE A STRAW.
  • Suggestions: smoothies (no seeds), yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, soup, cottage cheese
  • Around day 3-4 you may resume a regular diet as tolerated.


  • Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 3 days


  • A dry socket arises because the blood clot in the extraction site has been dislodged and a new clot has not formed. This leaves the socket empty and “dry” leaving the nerve endings present in the extraction socket exposed. To avoid a dry socket:

    • NO SMOKING, drinking through a straw, or vigorous swishing or spitting for at least 3 days


Unless otherwise instructed, continue taking all your regularly prescribed medications (including blood thinners)

  • After oral surgery procedures, pain is best managed with scheduled doses of NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen (up to 3200 mg daily) and Acetaminophen (up to 3000 mg daily).
  • Using your phone, set a recurring 3 hour timer. Take 600mg ibuprofen, wait three hours, then take 1000mg Tylenol (acetaminophen). Again wait 3 hours and repeat the cycle.
  • If you have been given a prescription for an opioid, we would encourage you to not use it or use it minimally.