Extractions: Aftercare at home

Your dentist has ensured that a good blood clot has formed in the socket where your tooth used to be. This page contains instructions on how you should look after the socket to help it heal without any problems.

  1. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and vigorous exercise for 48 hours.
  2. Do not disturb the socket with your tongue. You may feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue and occasionally small fragments of bone may work their way out. This is normal. 
  3. Eat a soft diet for the rest of the day, and try to chew with the opposite side of your mouth if possible.
  4. Avoid rinsing your mouth for 24 hours. Then after 24 hours, start gently using salty mouthwashes after meals and before bed for 7 days or advised by your dentist.  (Use a cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt, and gently bathe the socket by holding the mouthwash in you mouth for 60 seconds, without swishing as you normally would, and then gently dribble the mouthwash into the sink.)
  5. Some discomfort and tenderness is usual.  You can reduce this using over-the-counter medication you would normally take for pain relief, but do not take aspirin for pain relief as this may thin your blood and cause the socket to start bleeding again (If you normally take aspirin on advice from your doctor, then continue as normal).  If the tenderness does not subside after a few days, or you have any increasing pain or swelling, then call the practice on 0161 438 0446 for advice.

What to do if the socket starts to bleed again at home

Some blood stained saliva is expected, but if the socket starts to bleed again once you have left the surgery then take the bite pack provided (or some clean linen, gauze, or kitchen roll) fold it up to match the width of the socket and bite down on it firmly while sitting upright.  The bleeding will normally stop after 15 minutes. 

If it does not stop after an hour then, then call the practice on 0161 438 0446 or if the practice is closed you should visit the NHS 111 website or attend the accident and emergency department at your local hospital for further help and advice.