Post-Operative Instructions

There are four things you can expect to experience after your surgery:

Minor bleeding (1-2 days)
Slowly improving pain (1-5 days)
Tightness of the jaw ( up to 2 weeks)
Swelling ( up to 1 week)

To minimize these normal postoperative effects you should follow the recommendations listed below:

Apply gentle pressure

Bite gently on the gauze for 45-50 minutes. Replace with freshly dampened gauze every 20 minutes until bleeding stops. If bleeding continues, bite on a moist Lipton “tea” bag for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after two days, call us immediately.

DO NOT SMOKE, spit, sip, slurp, or use a straw for the next three days.

Avoid use carbonated or alcoholic beverages or mouthwash for the next 48 hours. Avoid blowing your nose and sneezing (or sneeze with your mouth open to minimize the pressure) for the first week as this creates negative pressure in the mouth and dissolves the blood clot out of the socket. Loosing the blood clot is not only painful, but delays healing.

Limit physical activity

Excessive activity during the first 24-48 hours after an extraction can result in loss of the blood clot and increase postoperative pain. If swelling continues or causes breathing problems, call immediately.

Apply Heat/Ice

Ice packs can be applied for 30 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours if there is swelling and pain. After the 24 hours discontinue ice and use moist heat compresses to help decrease the swelling.

Modify your diet

Your diet for the next two days should consist of soft cold foods such as jello, pudding, yogurt, applesauce, milkshakes, cottage cheese and ice cream. Avoid heavy chewing and crunchy foods. Chew on the side opposite the extraction site.

Pain medication

Take pain medication as prescribed. Advil of Tylenol will usually be adequate. Rinse with a warm salt water solution 3-4 times a day for the next several days ( 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz warm water).


If sutures were placed, do not play with them with your tongue. They will dissolve in 7-10 days, unless otherwise noted. Some sutures require that you return to have the sutures removed. Denture: Immediate dentures should not be removed for the first 24 hours. You should return the following day for the dentist to remove the denture.

Please contact our office at 720-684-5477 with any questions or concerns.

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