How can I heal faster after having teeth removed?

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Bite down on gauze to stop the bleeding

After a tooth is removed, we want a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. We will put sterile gauze on the area and have you bite down on it for 15 mins. You will bring some gauze home with you and can repeat that step until no more oozing/bleeding occurs. Blood-tinged saliva may end up on your pillow for 2 days following the surgery and is not worrisome.

Pain management

Pain tolerance varies greatly from patient to patient. If an extraction is scheduled, we recommend a patient take 600 mg (3 tablets) of Ibuprophen (Advil) prior to the appointment, or immediately after the extraction before the numbing wears off. That way, the pain medication is in the system before the numbing wears off and it will make recovery a little easier. Alternating the ibuprofen with extra strength Tylenol (500mg) can also provide relief if the Advil itself isn’t doing the trick. Do not take these medications if you have allergies or take medications that interact harmfully with them. Consult us before taking anything.


Some extractions require a prescription of an antibiotic. Finish the entire bottle and do not stop halfway through the recommended days just because you feel better. Failure to take your prescribed dose may cause bacteria to survive and multiply causing more harm. 

What NOT to do

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to dislodge the clot to prevent experiencing dry socket. Avoid smoking, spitting, sucking on straws, or rinsing vigorously for 72 hours. Limit exercise or any activities that increase heart rate for 24-48 hours.

What can I eat?

Your first day will consist of soft, cool foods such as: room temperature soup, jello, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and ice cream. Avoid sharp and crunchy foods like chips, popcorn and nuts. Drink fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods or a protein shake.

Can I brush my teeth?

The best way to prevent infection is to keep your mouth clean. Brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Do not brush the extraction site. GENTLE salt water rinses can be done 48 hours after surgery.

I have a bad taste in my mouth!

It will take several weeks for the socket to close completely. Food may get lodged in the socket which may cause a foul smell if it stays in there too long. That is why it is important to gently rinse with salt water 48 hours later and even weeks after to keep your mouth smelling fresh.

Call the dentist if you have extreme pain/bleeding/swelling or suspect an infection. We will make sure to fit you in the schedule or answer any questions you have over the phone if you can’t come in right away.