Pain After Tooth Extraction
Pain medications are normally required after tooth extraction surgery. If you can take ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), take 400–600 mg every 6–8 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Ibuprofen will help with pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory. If you cannot take ibuprofen, then 1–2 tablets of regular Tylenol® should be taken every 4 hours. If you were prescribed a stronger pain medication such as Vicodin, Norco, or Lortab (hydrocodone with acetaminophen), Tylenol® with codeine, or Percocet (oxycodone with acetaminophen), you can take that in addition to your ibuprofen if the pain is severe. Follow the directions written on your prescription bottle. If you do take any of these medications, do not drive or work around machinery. Also, avoid alcohol while taking these medications.
You may have been dispensed a syringe with a gel called Sockit!® This should be used by applying at least 4–6 times a day on the extraction site the first few days. This will provide pain relief and promote healing. With the curved tip attached to the syringe, apply to the extraction site with just enough to cover the area. Keep your tongue away from the area. This gel will help soothe the area and decrease the need for other pain medications.
If the pain is severe, not controlled with your medications, or persists, call our office for further instructions.
Oral Hygiene After Tooth Extraction Surgery
Rinsing should not be done the day of tooth extraction surgery. On the day after surgery, gentle rinsing with warm salt water should be done after each meal. You can brush your teeth the day after your tooth extraction, but be careful not to traumatize the area where the surgery was done.
Diet After Tooth Extraction
If you had IV sedation or general anesthesia for your tooth extraction procedure, liquids should be initially taken. Your diet can then progress to more solids as tolerated. Ensure adequate fluids and nutrition to prevent dehydration.
Nausea and Vomiting After Tooth Extraction
After IV sedation or general anesthesia for a tooth extraction, some patients may feel nauseated and vomit. To help avoid this problem, do not take your medications on an empty stomach. Hold off on your medications, if possible, until the nausea subsides. Try to stay hydrated with liquids. Sometimes patients feel nauseated from the prescribed pain medications, particularly the stronger pain medications such as hydrocodone or oxycodone (Vicodin or Percocet). Try stopping the pain medications and see if nausea subsides. If you have continued nausea and vomiting, call our office for further instructions.
Bruising and Discoloration After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, some patients may notice bruising or discoloration around the areas of surgery. This is normal postoperatively and can take several days to subside.
Jaw Tightness or Limited Mouth Opening After Tooth Extraction
This is normal following tooth extraction and will improve and resolve over time. On occasion, you may be shown jaw exercises to help increase your jaw opening.
Dizziness or Light-Headedness After Tooth Extraction
After IV sedation or general anesthesia, some patients may feel dizzy when standing up. Always have someone watching you the first 24 hours after sedation. Do not get up quickly from a sitting or lying position, and make sure to remain hydrated with fluids.
Smoking After Tooth Extraction
Smoking can inhibit the healing process and can cause more pain after surgery. To ensure the best post-operative recovery, refrain from smoking as long as possible after surgery.
If you have any questions or concerns following your tooth extraction, please don’t hesitate to call our office. We are on call 24 hours a day.