Tooth Extraction Aftercare

A tooth may have to be extracted for a number of different reasons and the aftercare is a crucial part of the healing process. Teeth can be severely decayed, poorly positioned or have advanced periodontal disease and extraction is necessary. Though the extraction process itself is major, the aftercare needs to be successful in order for your mouth to heal properly. After the extraction process there will be a hole in your jawbone, but after 1-2 weeks you should begin to heal. Eventually, bone will fill in the hole, but this process can take many weeks or even months.

Swelling & Pain

After the tooth extraction, swelling can occur. If it does, it is recommended that you place ice on your face for 10-minute increments and 20 minutes of rest in between. Use ice as you feel necessary for about 24-hours to help control swelling. As for pain, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken to reduce pain. If bleeding occurs, place a piece of moist gauze over the area and bite down for 45-minutes to help control the bleeding. If bleeding persists, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.

Brushing and Cleaning

For the first day following the tooth extraction, you should avoid brushing around the extraction site. After one day, gentle brushing is okay around the sensitive area. Do avoid traditional mouth rinses as they can irritate the gums, but after the first day you can begin swishing warm salt water in your mouth after eating and before bed. This can help reduce bacteria in the mouth.


For the most part, it is best to stick with softer foods for the first 24-hours, or even a liquid diet in some cases. When you have to chew, be sure to keep the food away from the extraction site. You should stay away from alcoholic beverages and hot liquids for the first 24-hours.

Dry Socket

Dry socket significantly delays the healing process and can be avoided by following the dentist’s aftercare instructions. Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth used to be or when the clot becomes dislodged. These can become very painful and may not be noticeable until three or four days after the procedure. Symptoms of dry socket are pain, a bad taste in your mouth and bad breath. Contact your dentist if this happens.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.

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