Dentist in Charleston, Summerville, & Camden
Our office is open to current and new patients. To See COVID-19 Office Update CLICK HERE

Post-Operative Instructions: Tooth Extraction

For the first 72 hours, do not:

  • Disturb the site
  • Use straws
  • Drink anything with carbonation
  • Vigorously rinse, swish, or spit
  • Smoke


Some bleeding is expected after tooth extractions. It’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a cold, damp gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing persists, you will need to moisten the gauze with ice-cold water, squeeze out the excess water, and bite down with firm pressure for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding continues, moisten a tea bag with ice-cold water and bite down for 20-30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting the blood vessels. A small amount of bleeding can continue intermittently for a couple of days especially if the area is stimulated by movement. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot, as it aids in healing.


Swelling is also a normal part of post-operative healing and can increase for 2-3 days following any surgery, slowly resolving after this. You may apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours; this will help minimize pain and swelling during this time. After 24 hours, you may switch to warm, moist heat.


If you have been sedated for your procedure, you may not drive for 24 hours. If you have been prescribed a narcotic pain medication, you also cannot drive while taking this. If an antibiotic mouth rinse is prescribed, do not begin using until the day after your procedure to avoid stimulating further bleeding. If an antibiotic was prescribed, make sure to take as directed and until completely gone to help prevent infection.


You should begin taking pain medicine as soon as you feel the local anesthetic start wearing off. For mild to moderate pain, ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200mg tablets: 3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. You may alternate with 2 Extra Strength Tylenol® as needed (example: 12 PM—Ibuprofen, 3 PM—Tylenol, 6 PM—Ibuprofen, 9 PM—Tylenol). For severe pain, the prescribed pain medicine should be taken as directed with food. Tylenol may be in the prescribed pain medication; therefore, do not take Extra Strength Tylenol when taking prescribed pain medication. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to do so.

For children, use over-the-counter Children’s Tylenol® or ibuprofen as directed per instructions on the bottle as needed for pain.


Hydration and nutrition are important for healing following surgery. You may be more comfortable with a soft diet initially, but you can eat what you like. You are only limited by your discomfort. Stick to cold and/or soft foods and liquids while you are numb. Remember to always eat prior to taking any pain medication to avoid nausea. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.


Good oral hygiene is essential for healing. It is important to resume your normal dental routine 24 hours after your procedure. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth avoiding the surgical site(s) for 72 hours; remember, no vigorous swishing or spitting for 72 hrs.


Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site(s).


Call our office immediately for heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling lasting over 3 days, or a reaction to the medication.

See What Our Patients Are Saying

  • "I don't think I've ever been to a dental office that has been this friendly and happy and it just makes you feel at home. It's been a wonderful experience and I certainly wouldn't want to go anywhere else."
    ~ Grateful Patient ~
  • "Great experience here. Been here for about a year and a half or something. My name is John Murphy. They do a terrific job in here and I'm very very pleased with their performance and trust what they do for me. Thank you."
    ~ John Murphy ~
  • "I came in today as a new patient and was surprisingly cared for. Everyone was very patient with me, as somebody who has a fear of the dentist and they took me through everything so I knew exactly what's going on and they put together an awesome treatment plan. I would recommend to anybody."
    ~ Happy Patient ~
  • "I love coming to Ammons Dental By Design. The staff is always so friendly and helpful and they make coming to the dentists office fun again."
    ~ Happy Patient ~
  • "Hi there. Very pleased with my care at Dr. Ammons. He has a modern facility with friendly people and happy faces and it's always a pleasing experience."
    ~ Happy Patient ~
  • "I had a great experience getting my implant done here. The staff and Dr. Ammons have been great and everything was virtually painless. I definitely recommend them for all your dental needs."
    ~ Implant Patient ~

Multiple Convenient Dental Locations Near Charleston

Ammons Dental By Design has four locations so you can find the most convenient office for your family.
1015 Fair St.
Camden, SC 29020
Monday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm
P: (803) 969-0365
F: (803) 432-2625
about this locationsubmit a review
14 Lockwood Dr,
Charleston, SC 29401
(Suite A on the exterior of the Ashley House Building, across from the marina)
Monday – Thursday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-2734
F: (843) 577-4464
about this locationsubmit a review
1739-B Maybank Hwy.
Charleston, SC 29412
Tuesday – Friday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-8889
F: (843) 990-9504
about this locationsubmit a review
1710 Old Trolley., Ste.B
Summerville, SC 29485
Tuesday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Monday & Friday*: 8am – 5pm
*Rotating schedule
P: (843) 380-8904
F: (843) 871-0617
about this locationsubmit a review
© 2023 Dentist in Charleston, Summerville, & Camden


Skip to content