After Removal of Multiple Teeth

Removal of many teeth at one time can be quite different than the extraction of one or two teeth. Since bone is often shaped and smoothed prior to inserting a denture, the following conditions may occur (all of which are considered normal):

  • The area operated on may swell, reaching a maximum in 2-3 days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. Application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 48 hours after surgery. Ice packs are to be used only for the first 48 hours following surgery.
  • A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites, and swelling within the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in two to three days.
  • If the corners of the mouth have been stretched during surgery, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with a cream or an ointment like Vaseline or lip balm.
  • There may be a slight elevation of your temperature for 24-48 hours following surgery. If the elevated temperature continues, please call our office.
  • If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots will likely develop. In most cases, your family dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make necessary denture adjustments to relieve sore spots. Failure to do so can result in severe denture sores, which will prolong the healing process.

Control of Bleeding

Some bleeding is to be expected following the procedure and may last up to 48 hours. If bleeding occurs, place 2-3 lightly moistened gauze pads rolled or folded together directly over the bleeding site and apply firm biting pressure for 60 minutes. If bleeding continues, moistened tea bags can be used for 30-60 minutes. Tannic acid in the tea bags helps to form a clot by contracting the bleeding vessels. Elevate the head (sitting in a recliner chair or in bed with two pillows). Avoid spitting, drinking through a straw, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive physical activity. If an immediate denture has been placed, do not remove the denture unless the bleeding is severe. You can expect some oozing around the sides of the denture.

Control of Pain

If you have been given a prescription, have it filled immediately and begin taking the medication – – with food – – as soon as you arrive home and are settled. Be sure to read and follow the instructions as printed on the bottle. If possible take the medications with food to prevent nausea.

If an antibiotic has been prescribed, it is important to take it until the prescription is completely gone regardless of whether symptoms are present or not.

If you develop a rash, hives, or trouble breathing, discontinue all medications and immediately call our office.

Control of Swelling

Swelling to some extent follows nearly every tooth extraction and may be quite noticeable. Swelling does not necessarily mean that an infection is present. Continual application of ice for the first 48 hours will help to minimize the swelling. After 48 hours, warm packs and warm salt water rinses are often helpful. Peak swelling usually occurs between 48-72 hours following surgery.


Local anesthesia can produce numbness lasting up to 15 hours. While the mouth is numb, eat soft foods.Drink plenty of fluids – – at least six glasses of liquid the first day. Be very careful with hot foods and hot liquids during this timeframe. Resume your normal diet as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse with anything in an effort to cleanse or freshen your mouth for at least 12 hours. Starting the day after surgery, the mouth may be gently rinsed with a warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) after each meal and at bedtime. After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, you may take out the denture and rinse your mouth three to four times a day. Also, clean your denture well before reinserting it.


Nausea is a common complication. If you experience nausea, it may be related to anesthesia or medications you have been given. Nausea usually resolves within 24 hours. A small amount of non-carbonated drink such as 7-Up, ginger ale or Sprite (poured from glass to glass to defizz) every hour for 5-6 hours will usually terminate nausea. Follow the drink with mild tea or clear soup. Gradually return to normal foods. If nausea continues, call our office.