post extraction instructions, extraction, tooth extraction

Post Tooth Extraction Instructions: All You Need To Know

Extraction of teeth is one of the most feared procedures anyone has to undergo. But whether the tooth is extracted surgically or without surgery if the instructions are followed properly, the recovery is always good.

If your dentist suggests the extraction is difficult or might involve surgery, the best thing to do is to get the extraction done by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon always, as they are experts in any kind of surgical procedures related to surgery in your oral cavity.

When is a Tooth Extraction Advised?

Extraction of a tooth is advised when:

  1. The tooth is severely decayed and can not be saved with a root canal treatment.
  2. The tooth is fractured.
  3. Impacted tooth
  4. Loose teeth due to periodontitis (gum disease)
  5. Dental injury
  6. Retained milk teeth
  7. Extraction to make space for alignment of teeth in case of crowding.
extraction, when is tooth extraction advised

Here are the post-extraction or post-surgical instructions you need to follow after any kind of surgery or extraction of your oral cavity.

Instructions for the First 24 Hours

  1. After the procedure, your doctor will keep a piece of cotton at the surgical site. Keep it for around 20-30 minutes and then remove it using your hand and never spit it out. Wash your hands with soap before removing the cotton.
  2. Take all the medicines as advised by your doctor.
  3. Do not spit for 24 hours after the procedure.
  4. Do not rinse for 24 hours after the procedure.
  5. Do not brush for 24 hours after the procedure.
  6. Do not eat anything hot for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Anything you eat should be at the room temperature or cold. Take a cold and soft diet. Ice creams without nuts are preferred.
  7. Drink a glass of water after every meal to keep the surgical area clean as you can not rinse for the first 24 hours.
  8. Do not turn your side towards the extraction site while sleeping.
  9. Apply ice on the side of the surgery from outside 3-4 times in the first 24 hours.
  10. Avoid aerated drinks and soda.
  11. Do not drink anything using a straw, use a glass instead.

Instructions after 24 Hours

  1. After 24 hours first, brush your teeth. Remember to brush gently on the surgical site.
  2. Start rinsing with lukewarm water with a small amount of salt after 24 hours of surgery, 4-5 times a day.
  3. If you see any bleeding from the extraction site, inform your doctor immediately.
  4. Avoid smoking at least for 7-10 days after the surgical procedure or even after a simple extraction.
  5. Do not keep checking the surgical site again and again. Avoiding stretching’ lips or cheek to see the surgical site or sutures (stitches).
  6. If the Sutures open in the first 24 hours, inform your doctor immediately.
  7. Avoid strenuous exercises for a few days after the extraction of surgery.

Related: Why does my kid have discolored teeth?

Do's and don't of post extraction instructions

What is Dry Socket?

A dry socket is a painful condition that is mainly seen 3-4 days after the extraction of the tooth. It mainly occurs after the extraction of a lower molar, especially lowerthe third molar i.e. the wisdom tooth. The pain is severe in such cases. It is a rare condition but possible. The causes of dry socket are:

  1. If you spit after the extraction, the clots get dislodged and healing is delayed causing a dry socket.
  2. Smoking after extraction is another cause of dry socket.
  3. Traumatic extraction
  4. Poor oral hygiene
  5. You have a previous history of dry socket
  6. Oral contraceptive pills

If you have dry socket after the extraction you might:

  1. Have severe pain which might radiate to the ear or the head
  2. Halitosis (Bad Breath)
  3. Unpleasant taste in the mouth

If you have these symptoms immediately visit your dentist. He or she will:

  1. Clean the socket and irrigate it with saline
  2. If required will place medication inside the socket to promote healing and reduce pain.
  3. Prescribe an antibiotic if necessary
  4. Advise you to take pain killers
  5. Advise warm saline rinses

A dry socket takes around a week to ten days to heal. Your routine activities might be hampered if you have a dry socket. Also if there is a history of dry socket remember to inform your dentist before the start of the procedure.

In case of any problems or doubts, the best thing to do is call your doctor and ask for advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can Yawning cause Dry socket?

No. There is no relationship between yawning and dry socket. A dry socket is caused mainly when you spit in the first 24 hours and the clot gets dislodged from the healing socket.

Q2: Can you get a dry socket from vaping through your nose?

It is recommended to wait at least 72 hours after you have had a tooth extraction. Vaping through the nose can cause very bad effects on your nose as it can dry out all the skin and can cause nose bleeds.

Q3: Why Dry socket not healing after 3 weeks?

Once you get a dry socket you need to immediately report it to your dentist and he or she would place some medication inside the affected socket for healing and reducing the inflammation and infection. Dry Socket can not be treated at home or with over-the-counter medications.

Q4: How to vape without getting a dry socket?

You should not vape for a minimum of 72 hours after the tooth extraction as due to the pressure created you can get a dry socket. If you really can not avoid you can try using a nicotine patch instead.

Q5: Can you get a dry socket with a temporary bridge?

A dry socket is caused due to loss of the clot, an infection, or a traumatic injury. If that is not the case then no you won’t get a dry socket.

Q6: What medicated dressing is used for dry socket?

The socket is irrigated well and then a eugenol dressing is placed. the dressing needs to be changed every second day.

Q7: What to do if dry socket packing comes out?

There is nothing that can be done at home. Inform your doctor and visit the clinic again as and when directed.

Q8: Can talking cause a dry socket?

No. Talking can not cause a dry socket.

Q9: It’s been 24 hours since my extraction and I just took the gauze out of the hole will I get a dry socket now?

If the clot is dislodged out of the socket along with the gauze there are chances that you might get a dry socket. The gauze piece needs to be removed within 30 to 45 minutes of tooth extraction.

Q10: Will I get a dry socket if I sleep with my mouth open?

No. You will not get a dry socket if you sleep with your mouth open.

Q11: I had a tooth extracted. Can wearing a mask cause a dry socket?

No, wearing a mask will not cause a dry socket.


This blog provides general information about post-operative instructions. The opinion and content on this blog are only for conversational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical or dental advice about any particular individual. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriate licensed medical or dental physician or a health care provider

Related: At what age should my child see an orthodontist?

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