What to Expect Following Your Tooth Extraction

  • If you are experiencing any problems during your postoperative healing, please call the office during office hours to speak with one of our nurses.
  • If you are experiencing an urgent problem after office hours, call the office and you will be connected, via our after-hours service, with our on-call doctor who will address your concerns.


  • A small amount of bleeding after surgery is normal within the first two days. If bleeding continues or is excessive:
  1. Place a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick pad of moistened gauze over the surgery/bleeding site as needed 
  2. Firmly bite down on the gauze for 30 minutes
  3. Repeat the first two steps, as needed, with fresh gauze, using finger pressure to hold the gauze if you cannot firmly bite on it.


  • Swelling is a normal result from any type of surgery and may take up to three days to reach its maximum, after which it should start to decrease. To minimize swelling:
  • Elevate your head on pillows for the first few days.
  • For the first 3 days following your surgery, consistently apply a cold pack to your jaw for 15 minutes at a time (remove for 15 minutes before re-applying) to help decrease swelling.
  • After day 3, you may apply heat to the sides of the face, massage the cheek area gently, and exercise the jaw by opening and closing the mouth, two to three times a day.

Post-Operative Self-Care


  • Patients should not post to social media or make important/legal decisions immediately following their surgery while recovering from the effects of the drugs/medications used.
  • Parents should monitor their children’s social media activities following their surgery to ensure the patient does not post any materials that may be inappropriate while recovering from the effects of the drugs/medications used.


  • Proper nutrition plays a role in your recovery.
  • Upon arriving at home following your surgery, immediately begin drinking clear fluids at room temperature (e.g. apple juice or broth). Increase your fluid intake for several days after surgery
  • If tolerated, soft foods such as fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, etc., may be eaten
  • No alcohol should be consumed for 24 hours following your surgery as this can promote more bleeding
  • Do not use a straw to drink during the first week following surgery as this can delay healing


  • To prevent post-operative infections, it is important to keep your mouth as clean as possible:
  • After your surgery, do not rinse the mouth, clean your teeth, spit, or swish fluids in the mouth
  • Do not smoke the day of surgery and avoid smoking for at least 24 hours or more following surgery, as this will affect healing.
  • 24 hours following surgery: begin rinsing the mouth with warm saltwater and clean teeth with your new toothbrush enclosed in the post-op kit and throw out your old tooth brush


  • Immediately following your surgery, there are some restrictions to adhere to:
  • Do not drive for 24 hours after your surgery
  • No exercise, strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 24-48 hours after surgery.
  • Increase activity as tolerated post operatively.


  • Take all medications as prescribed by the surgeon as directed.
  • Important: If antibiotics have been given during or after your surgery, birth control pills may not be effective and should not be trusted for effectiveness. Stay on the birth control pills, but other methods of birth control should be used for this and the next entire cycle.


  • All patients receiving sedation must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • It is normal to feel drowsy for several hours after your sedation, so it is suggested that you plan to stay home and relax until this feeling passes.
  • Do not drive a vehicle, operate hazardous machinery, or consume alcohol/sedative for a minimum of 24 hours or longer if drowsiness or dizziness continues.


  • Follow the instructions given to you by your CVOS oral surgeon regarding wearing your denture or partial denture.
  • You may have to see your family dentist after your surgery to adjust or realign the denture for a proper fit.


  • If your surgery involved your sinuses:
  • Do not blow your nose unless advised by your oral surgeon
  • If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid unnecessary pressure
  • It is not uncommon to have a nosebleed postoperatively
  • If you feel congested, use Otrivin Nasal Spray or ask the pharmacist for an over-the-counter decongestant. Use as directed.

How To Schedule An Appointment

To receive your initial consultation with one of our oral surgeons, please contact your family dentist and ask to be referred.