Post Extraction Advice


Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre, we believe that the correct post extraction steps are vital for an extraction area to heal properly. Our expert dentist will always provide you with a thorough list of post extraction instructions to ensure there are no complications after your extraction. The following points are all of the steps that need to be taken to prevent any problems after an extraction. Your best dentist for post extraction advice in Dublin.


  • It is important to keep the diet soft and try to eat on the other side to avoid food getting trapped in the socket. Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks especially while you are still numb to avoid you burning the numb area.
  • Do not repeatedly rinse your mouth in the 24 hours after an extraction as it can dislodge the blood clot and slow down the healing process or increase the risk of bleeding starting again. After 24 hours you can start to gently rinse your mouth with warm salty water (a half teaspoon of salty in a warm glass of water). This can be repeated after meals for 3 to 4 days until the socket is healed.
  • You can continue brushing your teeth as normal but be careful around the extraction area to prevent a wound reopening.
  • After your extraction your dentist will provide you with extra gauze. If bleeding continues of occurs after leaving Smile Hub Dental Clinic please roll a handkerchief/gauze/tissue into a small pad (about the thickness of your finger) and place it over the bleeding socket. Bite down on the gauze for 20-25 minutes. If after 25 minutes of biting hard on gauze/handkerchief it is still bleeding then contact your dentist immediately. Minor oozing of blood from an extraction socket is normal for up to 24 hours after having a tooth removed.
  • Swelling is normal after an extraction and can take up to 10 days to resolve.
  • It is best to avoid smoking for 24 hours after any dental extraction as smoking can delay the extraction site healing and can lead to dry socket. Infection or severe pain may occur for 1-4 days following the extraction.
  • There will be some minor discomfort following a dental extraction. Your dentist at Smile Hub Dental Clinic will discuss suitable pain relief medications.
  • If your extraction requires stitches/sutures it is important not to touch or pull them. Most stitches dissolve by themselves however some stitches require you to attend your dentist to have them removed. Please follow the advice of your dentist.
  • A patient can be numb for at least 4 hours after a dental extraction. Please be careful not to bite your lip or cheek during this time period. Be extra careful if you are drinking or eating anything hot as you could burn yourself and you will not realise until the numbness wears off
  • Dry Socket is a common cause of pain following a dental extraction. The pain can last for up to two weeks. Dry socket is where the blood clot breaks down during the post-extraction healing process. This can cause a dull and throbbing pain within a week of your tooth extraction. If this happens please contact the practice and we can arrange a follow up appointment to place a medicinal dressing within the socket.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the stages of healing after a tooth extraction?

Every patient’s healing time is different but usually an extraction site will be completely healed in about 3 weeks.

  • In the 24 hours after the extraction a blood clot will start to form and if you have stitches, they will help the tissue to heal. There will be some minor discomfort and oozing blood which your dentist will have prescribed painkillers for.
  • 3 days after the extraction the empty socket will have healed. The area may feel tender and have minor swelling but there should be no more bleeding. It is important to rinse with warm salty water and avoid brushing the area to prevent the clot from coming away.
  • After about a week your clot will be formed and stuck in place. Any stitches you had should be dissolved or removed at this stage. If there is any pain in this stage you can contact us at Smile Hub Dental Clinic.
  • 2 weeks after your extraction, the socket should be healed but the tissues are still tender so avoid brushing hard or eating close to it.
  • 3 or more weeks post extraction, everything should be healed. There may still be tenderness but not enough to cause bleeding or pain.

How long do you have to wait to eat after an extraction?

In the 24 hours after the extraction try to avoid any hard foods or hot drinks which may cause bleeding or burning to the area. Try to eat soft foods for about 3 or 4 days after the extraction to avoid the clot coming away from the socket.

Do I need antibiotics after tooth extraction?

Extractions are different for every patient. Most healthy patient’s immune system can protect the extracted site from infection. We all have oral bacteria which can cause infection if it gets into the bloodstream. If an infection occurs after the extraction the dentist will provide the patient with antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Some patients with low immune systems may be asked to take antibiotics prior to their appointment.

How do I know if I have dry socket or normal pain?

It is usually quite obvious when a patient has dry socket as the pain is a lot more severe than the discomfort after an extraction. If you can see the bone where the tooth was it can mean you have dry socket. Constant throbbing pain in your jaw can also be a sign of dry socket and can even be felt in your ear eye or neck.

When can I brush my teeth with toothpaste after an extraction?

Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic, we will provide you with post extraction advice which will explain that you can brush your teeth as normal for the few days after the extraction but must avoid the extraction area to prevent the blood clot from coming away from the socket. Try not to use toothpaste on the area.

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    Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13