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Post-Tooth Extraction: 5 Tip Recovery Guide

Think about the recovery process of a tooth extraction. Do you know exactly how to recover in the most timely manner with minimal complications? Dr. Greer’s 5 Tip Recovery Guide will help you properly identify the safest, and most comfortable steps to take during your recovery.

Manage Bleeding:

Patients should bite firmly for one hour on the gauze pad placed in mouth at the conclusion of surgery. After 1 hour, remove the pads. If further bleeding occurs, replace the gauze pad directly over the area of bleeding and bite firmly for an additional hour. Repeat for additional 1-hour periods until bleeding stops.
Excessive spitting, rinsing, or vigorous physical activity will increase bleeding.

Pain Control:

Have the prescription for pain medication filled and take the first dose one hour after surgery (the time you first remove the gauze pad). After the first dose, follow the instructions on the bottle. If the medication prescribed does not relieve your pain or causes nausea, rash, itching, or other issues occur, please call us for further instructions.

Control Swelling:

  •  Applying an ice pack to the face over the area of surgery for about 45 minutes of each hour for the first 48 hours after the procedure can help relieve swelling, and pain. You can also use a heating pad, warm washcloth, or warm salt water held in the mouth for heat. The warm saltwater solution should be made with 1 teaspoon of table salt in about 8oz of warm water. The ice/heat should be used as much as possible for best results.
  • If prescribed, take all medication as directed.
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Avoid Smoking:

Smoking will increase the likelihood of post-operative-complications – especially the occurrence of a “dry socket”. Smoking should be discontinued for at least 24 hours after extractions.


When bleeding has stopped, you may continue with your normal diet, choosing foods that are most comfortable for you to eat. Liquids and soft foods are usually best for 2-4 days and then progressing to normal dietary options as tolerable. Use of a straw tends to increase bleeding and prevent clotting, so we recommend avoiding these for the remainder of the recovery process.

We Care About You!

If proper care is not followed after the surgery, Dry Socket is a potential risk factor. After your tooth extraction with us, we want your experience to continue even after you leave our building. Our team is happy to be available to answer any questions or concerns you have about your recovery process. Call your Sweet Water Dentistry Family at: (251) 271-2797