Immediate Care to Control Bleeding:
It is normal for tooth sockets to bleed slightly (no more than a small amount of ooze), in the first few hours directly after an extraction.
To control bleeding from the extraction site, use the sterile gauze squares (provided after your procedure) to apply firm pressure to the bleeding socket, as demonstrated at your appointment and outlined below. During this process, please take extra care if you are still numb to avoid accidently biting your lip or cheek.
- Take one sheet of sterile gauze material from the sealed square packs provided and fold into half, multiple times, until you form a small firm pad, approximating the size of your socket space. Place the gauze pad over the bleeding socket and bite on it for at least 30 minutes.
- After this time, check the socket. If bleeding continues, repeat the previous step a further 2-3 times, applying firm pressure to the bleeding site, and each time using a fresh gauze pad for intervals of 30 minutes. You should notice less blood oozing from the socket and remaining on progressive gauze pads as the bleeding begins to reduce, until it eventually stops.
- In the unlikely event that bleeding still persists or becomes excessive, please contact Dr. Maria Petricevic at Melbourne Dentistry for immediate attention during business hours 7.00-5.30pm on 03 9650 0033 or after hours at email@example.com. Alternatively, you may present at your nearest public hospital emergency department for urgent assistance.
Directly After Your Procedure:
- When the bleeding has stopped, you can remove the gauze pad from your mouth. You do not need to keep it in your mouth continuously. Use the gauze only when needing to control active bleeding. Always remove this gauze pack from your mouth before going to sleep.
- Do not rinse your mouth until tomorrow morning. Rinsing should be avoided today as it can disturb the forming blood clot and stimulate bleeding.
- DO NOT SMOKE!!! (Avoid smoking for a minimum of 24 hours after your extraction). Smoking will increase your likelihood of developing painful complications such as a dry socket, infection and delayed healing.
- Do not drink alcohol (to avoid interactions with prescribed analgesic or antibiotic medications) or take part in strenuous activities, (and avoid swimming) for at least 24 hours after your procedure, as all may stimulate bleeding.
- Pain is usually worst when the anaesthetic first wears off and then in the first 24-72 hours after surgery. Thereafter, it should settle and resolve. To manage post treatment pain, you may take an analgesic such as Panadol (as directed). To reduce discomfort, preferably take the first analgesic tablet just before your numbness wears off. Aspirin should be avoided after surgery, unless it needs to be taken for medical reasons.
- Avoid eating very hot, spicy or hard foods, (to avoid irritating the socket) or foods consisting of small particles such as rice or other grains, nuts and seeds (to reduce the likelihood of small pieces becoming trapped within the wound and interfering with healing).
- Drink copious amounts of fluid for good hydration. When the numbness wears off, begin to eat soft nutritious foods over the next few days (e.g. steamed or boiled vegetables, mashed potatoes or other root vegetables, steamed fish, chicken, boiled or scrambled eggs, yoghurt, milk or cheese or comparable foods in accordance with any pre-existing food intolerances you may have). With regular nourishment you will feel better, gain strength and heal well.
The Day After Your Extraction:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salty water 3-4 times per day, directly after every meal, to prevent food from becoming lodged in or around the surgical site. This salty water rinse may be prepared by dissolving 1 teaspoon of table salt in a glass of boiled water, cooled to a warm temperature comfortable for rinsing your mouth.
- Resume good oral hygiene this morning - brush and floss all your teeth gently and thoroughly, twice a day. If you have dentures, clean them well too!
- Avoid meddling with your socket or any sutures. Usually dissolvable sutures will dissolve on their own over the next 7-10 days. If non-dissolving sutures are to be used, you will be advised of this and these will be removed at the time of a specifically scheduled post-operative visit.
- You may resume your usual healthy diet in 2-3 days or once you feel able to do so.
- Bruising may sometimes occur on the skin near the jaw or mouth and may take 1-2 weeks to resolve.
- Some patients may experience sensitivity of teeth adjacent to their extraction site due to a change to gum contours (exposing root dentine) around adjacent teeth. This may take a few weeks to resolve. Using a desensitizing toothpaste may help. If of concern, please contact our practice for review.
Pain, Swelling and Additional Concerns:
- If you experience continuing or increasing pain, swelling or fever, have developed a bad taste or smell in your mouth (these symptoms may indicate problems with the socket healing) or, if you have a reaction to the medications, or have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Maria Petricevic immediately for further attention and advice.
Tooth extraction sites take approximately 6 weeks to heal completely. After this time, it is appropriate to consider the future management of your extraction site/remaining space.
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