Routine Tooth Extraction

Post-Operative Care and Instructions

For your convenience and peace of mind, we’ve outlined essential post-operative instructions following a routine tooth extraction. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at 604-882-0887.

First 24 Hours
  • Gently bite on gauze for 60 minutes. If significant bleeding persists, use folded 2X2 gauzes over the extraction site and bite down for an additional 60 minutes. Ensure that your upper and lower teeth do not make contact to apply pressure solely to the extraction site.
  • Avoid touching the area with your fingers or tongue.
  • Refrain from rinsing your mouth for 24 hours. However, it’s acceptable to drink cool or lukewarm liquids. You may gently swish water in your mouth to alleviate any unpleasant taste, but avoid directing it at the wound.
  • Abstain from smoking for 24 hours. 
  • Beginning the following day, rinse your mouth frequently with a warm water and salt solution (½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of water). Continue these rinses for a few days.
Pain and Swelling
  • Pain and swelling should gradually decrease each day after the surgery. Follow your prescribed medications as directed to minimize discomfort and swelling.


  • You may also take Extra Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen 500 mg) every four hours. Tylenol complements Ibuprofen, and both medications can be taken together. Please adhere to the recommended dosage to avoid liver damage. If pain persists or swelling worsens, contact our office at 604-882-0887 for further guidance.
  • Consume cold or lukewarm liquids in the first four to six hours. Options include milkshakes, smoothies, Ensure, Boost, instant breakfast drinks, fruit juices, and warm soup. 
  • Avoid hot liquids initially, but encourage cold liquids.


  • Soft foods are recommended for the first five to seven days, and chew on the opposite side for comfort.
  • It’s normal for saliva to contain traces of blood for up to a day. If bleeding persists, refer to the instructions under the “First 24 Hours” section.
Swelling and Discolouration
  • Expect some swelling and discolouration, which varies based on the surgery’s complexity and your individual response. 
  • The maximum swelling and discolouration usually occur two days post-surgery, gradually subsiding afterward.
  • Applying ice to the affected area for the initial four to six hours (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) can help.


  • If significant swelling occurs, consider applying moist heat starting 36 hours after the surgery.
Sutures (Stitches)
  • You will be informed if dissolving or non-dissolving sutures were used. Dissolving sutures will naturally fall out, while non-dissolving sutures may require removal at our office.
Dry Socket
  • If pain worsens after three days and isn’t alleviated by medication, you might be experiencing a “dry socket.”
  • Dry sockets can be painful and are more common with lower extractions.


  • If you suspect a dry socket, characterized by radiating pain to the ear and temple, odor, and a bad taste in the mouth, please contact Dr. Stroup or Dr. Stelting at 604-882-0887 for prompt assistance.

For any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us