You have just had a tooth or several teeth removed from the bony tissue of your jaw. Your body has already started the healing process by bleeding. The next step is the formation of a blood clot. It is very important to protect the clot. If the clot comes out a “dry socket” will occur. The pain from this will vary from constant, dull, to exquisite. It will also lengthen the healing time. If you experience bleeding that won’t stop, try biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. If the bleeding persists or you experience severe pain, call our office at 317-789-1000 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Following the instructions below will greatly reduce your chance of getting a dry socket and ensure a smooth healing process.

  • Gauze: Change the gauze every 15-20 minutes, no sooner, until the bleeding stops. Fold one piece in half, making a small square, and place it over the extraction site, and bite down with firm pressure. When the bleeding stops or just oozes, you no longer need the gauze in your mouth.
  • If you experience bleeding that won’t stop, try biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes.
  • Do not spit forcefully or rinse your mouth for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke. Try to wait 48 hours before smoking, as it greatly increases the risk of a dry socket.
  • Do not drink through a straw.
  • Do not pick at, scratch, or brush directly on the extraction site.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting, over 35 pounds.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks for 24 hours.
  • Eat a soft diet for first few days, such as:
    • Gelatin
    • Pudding
    • Yogurt
    • Mashed Potatoes
    • Mac and Cheese

After 24 hours, begin warm salt water rinses. Rinses can be done 4-5 times a day. Put ½ teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Remember not to spit or swish forcefully.

It is important to keep the area clean by brushing the teeth, remembering to be gentle around the extraction site as to not injure yourself.