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Tooth extraction aftercare

How to look after yourself following an extraction

You need to look after yourself after you have had a tooth removed, in order to speed up healing and prevent infection. If you follow these instructions your mouth should heal normally without becoming infected. However if you have any concerns at all please call us. You can also download a PDF file below.

General advice

For the first 24 hours don’t drink alcohol, eat hot foods or disturb the blood clot that will have formed in the socket. Don’t smoke or exercise for the rest of the day. Don’t rinse your mouth for the rest of the day after the removal. Starting the following day, rinse your mouth gently with warm salty water to keep the socket clean. Rinse your mouth for up to 6 times a day for the following week after eating and before going to bed. Brush your teeth normally with toothpaste to keep the rest of your mouth clean. If you feel small pieces of bone working their way out of the socket do not worry – this is normal. Some swelling or discomfort may occur for the first two or three days. Take painkillers if you need them (as you would do for a headache), ask your dentist if you are unsure what to take.

If the bleeding does not stop

Your dentist may have given you a small supply of cotton wool rolls to use if this happens. If you run out or don’t have any then a clean cotton handkerchief will also be fine. Keep sitting up and gently clear away any clots of blood around the area with a gauze or handkerchief. Place a pad across the socket for 10-15 minutes and bite hard. Take the pad off to see if the bleeding has stopped, if not use a fresh pad. If the socket is still bleeding after two hours contact your dentist.
Call 020 8692 9963 for advice or an emergency appointment, 7 days a week.