What to Do and Avoid After a Tooth Extraction

When a person has dental issues, tooth extraction is always the final resort and is employed when there is no other solution in sight. Even at that, there are several reasons why a tooth would have to be extracted, and the reasons can include the following.

  • An impacted tooth and could undermine healthy adjacent teeth
  • The tooth needs to be extracted to create space in the mouth in the case of overcrowding
  • The tooth may be diseased, and extraction is the only option, etc

No matter the reason for tooth extraction, you may have always wondered what you should do next after an extraction. You should know that there are dos and don’ts to follow after a tooth extraction process, and they should be adhered to. 

Below are the dos and don’ts that follow after a tooth extraction process.


Get some rest and recuperate

While you do not need to restrict yourself to bed after the procedure, you should try not to exert pressure on that spot for the next 24 hours. This means you will have to stay away from everything that would require you to stoop or bend over. This also involves any form of exercise. You should be concerned about how to always place your head upwards and try to keep your head straight when sleeping. This will go a long way in helping for a speedy recovery. Resting helps you get back to yourself in so short a time.


Allow the site of extraction to clot

Just after a tooth has been extracted, you will be asked by the dentist to bite the gauze for between half to one hour. This is to allow the blood on the extraction site to clot so that healing can begin. It is perfectly normal, as the clot becomes a hindrance by protecting the extraction point from infection and bacteria entry. If a blood clot does not form, the bones and the nerves underneath will be exposed to air, fluids, and food, thereby creating an opportunity for infection to set in. If bleeding is heavy after the extraction, you may have to change the gauze, but do so based on the instructions of the dentist.


Drink enough water

When the clot is formed, you should stay hydrated as much as possible by drinking enough water. However, try not to swirl the water too much around the extraction so as not to affect the newly formed clot. Also, avoid drinking from a straw because the suction can equally disturb the newly formed clot. After the tooth extraction, make a saline solution using salt and water and use the solution to gently move around the extraction point. 


Ice packs are very effective

It is usually not normal to experience swelling after tooth extraction; however, the patient may experience some degree of swelling in a more serious tooth extraction procedure. In such cases, the swelling usually starts on the first day after the extraction and can continue till the second or even third day. If you experienced such a procedure, your dentist might recommend a pack of ice to reduce the swelling. The icepack should be applied on the side where the tooth was extracted from and held in place in intervals of 15 minutes. It should be carried out for 1 or 2 hours and is more effective when used within the first day after the extraction. 

If bleeding continues after the initial day, or you experience discomfort, see your dentist.




Smoking should be put on hold for 48 hours after a tooth extraction, or it should be stopped completely. This is because the clot can be affected due to the active ingredients present in tobacco smoke. Generally, the chances of the tooth extraction developing into a dry socket is elevated by smoking.


Consuming alcohol or carbonated drinks

Any fizzy, carbonated or alcoholic drinks should be avoided for days following a tooth extraction. This is because the drinks can dislodge the blood clot that has already been formed and increase the chances of the extraction site being infected.


Certain foods should be laid off

For the initial 24 hours after a tooth extraction, stay away from certain foods. Foods that are crunchy, spicy, chewy or foods that contain seeds and grains should be avoided. If consumed, they can affect the extraction site and the clot. Instead, go for soft foods like mashed potatoes and soft boiled eggs, and also avoid foods that are of extreme temperatures.


Poking around the extraction site

It may feel weird at first following tooth extraction; however, you should try as much as possible to avoid scrubbing the area with your finger, finger or any other material. It could damage the blood clot that has formed and cause the area to start bleeding again.

Tooth extraction is only carried out when deemed necessary and when there is no other feasible solution. After an extraction, the important thing to bear in mind is to keep the area clean and the clot protected. 

If you are troubled and feel unsure about this procedure, Contact a reputed dentist in St Albans.

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