Healing After Tooth Extractions

Once your Oral Surgeon has completed your chapel hill tooth extraction, you will need to rest for about a week so make sure you have scheduled to have time off from work. Activity should be avoided for a few days and the longer you can manage to rest, the quicker your healing time will be! Everyone has a different rate of healing and your doctor will be able to give you a better gage of recovery time for you individually.

Immediately following extraction

Over the first 24 to 72 hours, a blood clot will form and fill the space left by your tooth extraction. You may notice some swelling in your face, lightly apply an ice compress to bring the swelling down. Swelling should be mostly gone after three days so if it persists, call your doctor for a follow up appointment so they can make sure there is not an infection. Excessive bleeding should stop within the first 24 hours, though a pink tinge when you rinse your mouth is normal. While rinsing, do not forcibly spit water from your mouth, instead let it pour out by just opening your mouth over the sink. Do no brush or floss the area, you can use a q-tip to gently clean it.

Stay away from mouthwash during this time. Using a rinse of warm salt water will help keep the area clean and can be used as much as you like, especially after eating.

Rest and restrictions

Allowing yourself the time to recuperate after an extraction only speeds the healing process. Non-strenuous activities a day or two after an extraction will usually be alright but avoid any lifting or bending.

Over the next couple of weeks, your stitches will dissolve and the extraction site will be smaller. You were probably advised to eat soft foods, avoiding anything crunchy while your extraction heals. You will also want to steer clear of drinking straws and smoking. The sucking action when smoking or drinking through a straw can cause a painful dry socket. Dry socket is when the newly formed blood clot comes loose and leaves the extraction site exposed.


Your Oral Surgeon will prescribe antibiotics to be taken in full so as not to develop an infection. Be sure to follow medicinal directions to the letter! Any pain medications should only be taken as needed. You may experience some stiffness from lack of movement during your recovery but that will begin to loosen up and feel better as you return to normal foods and activities. Some tenderness and swelling at the site are normal. Using ice packs and keeping your head elevated will help to reduce swelling. Always be sure to contact your surgeon if you ever feel you are experiencing more pain and discomfort than you should or that can be managed with the pain medications you were prescribed.

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