Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Illustration of a tooth.Having a tooth extracted is no one’s idea of a good time, and some patients are understandably concerned about how they should care for their teeth and their mouths after the extraction has occurred. There are a few things you can do to help ensure that your recovery process continues as smoothly and easily as possible. With that in mind, this page will go over some of the most common and useful bits of advice we have regarding your oral health and how to maintain it after you have had a tooth pulled.

The First 24 Hours

After having your tooth pulled, the first 24 hours are probably the most important when it comes to maintaining your comfort and promoting the healing process. Remember that everything you do, both good and bad, during this time will help lay the foundation for how well your gum heals.

With that in mind, let’s talk about controlling gum bleeding. It is normal to experience some bleeding after tooth extraction—do not panic if you find yourself needing to use some gauze to help settle things down. When this happens, you should take a bit of damp, clean gauze and place it over the tooth socket where your tooth was pulled. Before placing it, make sure to either fold it into a square or a ball, or roll it up. After placing it directly over the wound, bite down firmly so that pressure is exerted right over the extraction site. If you don’t feel resistance and your teeth easily meet while biting down, you might want to consider adding some more gauze to the area. Keep this pressure for 45 minutes to around an hour.

Note that it is the pressure that is key here—the sustained pressure. That means that you shouldn’t open your mouth, even to change the gauze. Just keep that pressure going for at least 45 minutes. You can continue to apply pressure after this period, but keep in mind that the bleeding should be noticeably less after each round. If the heavy bleeding doesn’t stop or lessen, contact us.

Help the Blood Clot

In order for your gum to heal correctly, it must form a blood clot. During the first 24 hours after your tooth has been pulled, there are some things you definitely shouldn’t do in order to help ensure that said clot forms and sticks around. Avoid spitting or vigorous rinsing, for example, as you could dislodge the clot in the process. Do not poke or touch your extraction site, and that includes with your tongue. Avoid hot things like coffee, tea, and soup, as they can dissolve the clot. Finally, avoid doing things like using a straw, smoking, blowing your nose, or sneezing with your mouth closed. All of these can work to dislodge the blood clot from the socket.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your tooth extraction, please do not hesitate to contact us at (503) 673-9097. We are more than happy to listen to your concerns and help with the recovery process.
Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

15962 Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 105
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

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