Tooth Extraction Surgery
Home Care Before and After
(for Dr. Van Gemert’s Patients)
This handout tells you how to take care of yourself when you have tooth extraction surgery at UW
Hospital and Clinics. A nurse will go over this handout with you. Please ask questions. If you
have questions or concerns after you go home, please call or leave a message for the Dental Clinic
at (608) 263-7502 (8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday).
1. Dr. Van Gemert will want to know if
you have any of these problems, which
may require you to take antibiotics before
ξ Heart murmur, artificial heart
valve, prolapsed heart valve
(MVP), subacute bacterial
endocarditis (SBE), rheumatic
heart disease, or any other
ξ Artificial joints (hip,
ξ Cancer or on
ξ Hematologic (blood)
ξ Transplant of any organ
or bone marrow
ξ Systemic Lupus
ξ Radiation therapy to the head
or neck at any time in the past
(other than for acne)
ξ Biphosphonates, such
Tell Dr. Van Gemert if any of the above
applies to you.
2. Do not take any aspirin or medicines that
contain aspirin for 4 days before surgery.
Aspirin can increase bleeding. Let Dr.
Van Gemert know if you take blood
thinners. These increase bleeding, so you
will not take them for 3 to 4 days before
your surgery. Check with your local
doctor before starting these medicines
3. You will need an adult to drive you to
and from the hospital the day of surgery.
You will also need an adult to stay with
you for the first 24 hours.
4. If sedation is used, you should not drive
or make any important personal or
business decisions until the next day.
You will have some bleeding from your gums
for the first 2 to 3 hours. To control this, bite
down on folded gauze pads (dry or wet). If
you begin to bleed again the next morning and
biting down on the gauze pads does not stop
the bleeding within 15 minutes, go to the
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
Emergency Room in Madison. Have them
contact the dentist. If you are not in Madison,
go to the nearest emergency room. Ask staff
to call the UW Hospital paging operator at
(608) 262-0486 to contact the dentist on call.
You must keep your mouth clean. After 48
hours, use ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of
water and rinse 6 times a day. Do not start
this until two days after surgery as your gums
might start to bleed again. Brush all of your
other teeth with a soft toothbrush starting the
day after surgery. This will reduce your risk
You must not use a drinking straw for 5
days. Using a drinking straw could cause
your gums to bleed again.
Blowing Your Nose
If you had upper back teeth removed, you
must not blow your nose for 2 to 3 days.
You may gently sniff the drainage back.
Do not lie flat for the first 24 hours. When
you lie down or sleep, prop your head up with
2 or 3 pillows. This will help control
swelling. Place ice packs on both sides of
your face for 36 hours (20 minutes on, 20
minutes off), to reduce swelling and pain. If
you feel swelling inside your throat that
makes it hard for you to swallow, go to the
nearest emergency room. If the swelling
makes it hard for you to breathe, call an
ambulance right away (911 in Dane County).
You may have some pain. For most patients,
the pain is moderate. Use the pain medicine
that is prescribed for you if you need it. If
your pain is mild, use Tylenol®. Do not use
aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin or
ibuprofen (i.e. Advil® or Nuprin®) for ____
If antibiotics were ordered for you, take them
as prescribed on the label until all the pills are
gone. If you get a rash or any other side
effects from this medicine, stop taking it.
Then call the UW Hospital Emergency Room
(ER) at (608) 262-2398. Ask the ER staff to
contact the dentist on call for you.
You will be allowed to drink clear liquids
shortly after surgery. Once home, you may
have a full liquid diet for the next 24 to 36
hours. Full liquids are foods like milk, ice
cream, soup, juices, and milkshakes.
After 24 to 36 hours, you may have a soft diet
such as: pudding, scrambled eggs, ground
meats, mashed potatoes, and applesauce.
Choose foods that you don’t need to chew.
If you have any signs of infection call the
dentist. These include: foul, thick drainage
from your gums and fever of 100ºF. or higher.
For any problems or questions about your surgery, please call the paging operator at
(608) 262-0486. Ask for the dentist. Leave your name and phone number with the area code.
You will be called back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Your follow-up clinic visit: ___________________________________________________
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©2/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4514.