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Following a tooth extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently. Afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don't clean the teeth next to the tooth socket. If the pain or swelling persists or you don't think you are healing, be sure to contact your dentist.
After a surgical tooth extraction, you should avoid using a straw and avoid smoking so the blood clot can heal. People who smoke are more likely to lose the blood clot out. Women who use birth control pills should take extra care because they are at higher risk for dry socket, a condition in which a blood clot does not form or breaks down too early.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.