What to do after your Tooth Extraction Surgery

We have put together a list of post-operative instructions for those who have recently undergone tooth extraction surgery or are looking to have it. In this guide, we outline what to do after surgery.

  1. Continue biting on the gauze immediately after surgery for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  2. If bleeding persists place another gauze pad and bite down for an additional 30 minutes.

  3. If your lip, tongue or cheek is numb, please take care not to bite it.

  4. Do not rinse or gargle for at least 12 hours.

  5. If treatment has been completed under sedation or you have taken anti-anxiolytic medication, a responsible adult will need to drive you home and accompany you for the rest of the day until you are fully recovered from the effects of the medication.

  6. After 24 hours you may gently rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water). This can be done up to 5 times a day (or every 4-5 hours).

  7. After 24 hours you may gently brush the sutures/stitches with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque build-up around the wound.

  8. For 24 hours following surgery, do not eat or drink anything that is too hot, too cold or too hard. Maintain a soft food diet for a few days or until you can slowly re-introduce hard foods (eg. scrambled eggs, soup, and yoghurt).

  9. Avoid alcohol and strenuous physical activity for 24 hours.

  10. If you are a smoker, smoking is not advised for 24 hours as it may delay healing or increase the risk of a ‘dry socket’ complication.

  11. For the first evening’s sleep, rest your head on two pillows so that your head is slightly elevated. Cover the pillow in a towel to protect from staining if bleeding occurs overnight.

  12. For pain relief, analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed by your dental professional. Certain medications will cause drowsiness and it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery until fully recovered from the effects.

  13. If excessive bleeding, pain, fever or severe swelling occurs in the days following your appointment please call us on (08) 9226 2135.

  14. Use of ice packs in the first 24 hours will reduce the chance of swelling. Place ice packs on for 30 minute intervals for a few hours.

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