After Tooth Extraction

The 2 most common postsurgical issues are Bleeding and Pain.

Bleeding:  Pressure Stops Bleeding if the pressure is in the right place (the site of bleeding) long enough.
Tightly FOLDED (not bunched) gauze needs to be in place for at least 2 hours (or longer if taking a blood thinner like Aspirin, Warfarin, or Plavix).
If bleeding starts again later, this is normal. Take one piece of the gauze provided and FOLD IN HALF 3 or 4 times. Then place the tightly FOLDED gauze in the bleeding site and bite down or apply firm pressure for AT LEAST 2 hours (longer may be needed). The gauze may be removed when the bleeding has stopped.
Avoid rinsing or swishing until bleeding has stopped for a day. Be prepared to apply firm pressure with folded gauze as described above as needed.
You may drink fluids with gauze in place.
Most people can safely take a nap with the gauze in place if it is tightly folded.

Pain: Can you take Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, or Naproxen? If yes, take 200-400mg of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) every 4 hours with some food or drink. OR, as an alternative, 220mg of Aleve (Naproxen) can be taken every 6 hours. This might be necessary for several days or even longer.
If that is not enough for pain control, take 500-650mg (one extra strength or 2 regular) Tylenol (acetaminophen) every 4 hours AT THE SAME TIME, in addition to, to the Ibuprofen or Aleve.
OR, 1-2 of the prescription medication (e.g. Norco, Percocet) tablets can be taken every 4 hours. BUT, do NOT stop the regular Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Aleve; the prescription medication will work better and be less necessary when also taking the Ibuprofen or Aleve regularly (every 4-6 hours).

If you are taking an antibiotic (e.g., Penicillin, Clindamycin, Azithromycin), YOGURT (a probiotic) will help it digest better and with less adverse affects (like yeast infection and diarrhea)

SWELLING often follows surgery and is effectively treated with COLD PRESSURE (ice-pack or frozen veggies) to the site of swelling for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Swelling/inflammation is part of the healing process but a steroid can be called in if needed.

Return to regular activity and diet when able.

Additional instructions can be found on our website ( under

Please don’t hesitate to call the office or your surgeon if you still cannot find the answers to need.
Office (602) 938-0880
Dr Peter Nelson (402) 990-3457
Dr Charles Bode (602) 397-6645