• Bite gently on the gauze pad as directed, ONLY 20-30 minutes. Do NOT change gauze or bite on anything else. Call us if you have notable bleeding 24 hours after extraction.
  • Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and disrupt healing. NO carbonated beverages.
  • Do not smoke, tobacco or anything else, or vape for at least 48 hours after surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the blood clot and disrupt healing. Smoking also decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the area.
  • ONLY after 24 hours GENTLY rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 (one) teaspoon in a medium size glass (8 ounces) of warm water (premixed: 4 teaspoons of table salt in a pint of water – premixed makes it easier to use regularly).
  • Avoid using a CPAP for one night if possible, typically then sleeping sitting upright as CPAP wearers are familiar with.
  • While your mouth is numb be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek, lip, or tongue. As long as you avoid chewing until the anesthetic dissipates you will be fine.
  • Relax after the procedure as physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft or liquid, nutritious foods that require little chewing such as scrambled eggs, broiled fish, nutritional supplement drinks (e.g. Boost, Ensure). Of course other soft foods as well such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses. Avoid foods with small seeds.
  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching with your fingers.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
  • Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots and usually work their way out or a healed over.
  • If advised to use an ice pack, apply on the outside of your cheek. Apply for 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat, such as warm washcloth for the following 2-3 days.


  • When there has been an extraction, there will be some level of tenderness or discomfort. We always want to manage post operative comfort knowing that it’s not possible to completely eliminate pain, but work to make it manageable as healing progresses.
  • Starting immediately after the procedure when you can drink / swallow take your recommended over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
    • Typical adult: two over-the-counter ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil; total 400mg) and two acetaminophen (Tylenol; total 1000 mg) up to 3 times a day (do not exceed 6 acetaminophen in 24 hours).
  • Always take at least a juice glass size of water (4 ounces = ½ cup) with medication before taking any pain or antibiotic medication to both dissolve the medication and avoid a possible upset stomach.
  • IF prescribed pain medication use only until you can switch back to over-the-counter medication. If you feel the over-the-counter medication is sufficient for your pain, do not take the prescription pain medication.