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From sleeping to not exercising... What to look out for after your extraction or minor surgery

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

The key thing now you've had your tooth extracted or a minor oral surgery procedure, is to promote healing of the area and prevent any infection,


For routine extractions:

  1. Usually takes around 2 - 3 days to heal, but the first 24 hours are critical.

  2. Do not rinse or spit on the day of extraction - This may seem like an impossible task but the idea is not to dislodge the clot. When drinking water, do not swish in your mouth to clean

  3. Do not play with the wound - Using your tongue to feel around the wound will irritate the clot.

  4. Rinse out with salt water the morning after - Around a teaspoon of salt in a small cup of water

  5. No exercising - Whether it's a gentle job or heavy weight lifting, the objective is to not

  6. No Smoking or Drinking Alcohol - This will either cause infection or delay healing



For surgical extractions:

  1. For extractions where an incision or bone removal was done, be aware that it can take up to 7 days to heal.

  2. The stitches we use are resorbable and will dissolve after 10 days usually (but don't be surprised if they are still there after 2 weeks.

  3. Sometimes after 1 - 2 days the wound opens up slightly, do not be surprised as this is part of the healing process.

  4. Usually we advise painkillers and antibiotics, but please double check after your procedure with your doctor.


For minor oral surgery

  1. The same rules apply as if you had a routine extraction done.

  2. If you've had an excisional biopsy or gum grafting, make sure you do not play with the wound. For gum grafts make sure you clean around the graft gently.


Antibiotic and painkillers aftercare:

  1. Antibiotics are usually advised for surgical procedures.

  2. The dose advised is 500mg TDS (three times a day) for 5 - 7 days depending on the extent of the procedure.


How to identify "Dry Socket"


  • If after 2 or 3 days you start to get intense throbbing pain and you feel the wound is not healing, then come back for a follow up as you may have Dry Socket. We will be able to treat this effectively.



If you have any more questions please directly message me, I will most likely add to this article!




Dr. Oscar Sum is a dentist in Shanghai practicing in central Shanghai who performs Implant surgery, Orthodontics, and other advanced dental procedures. Please call scan the QR code to enquire about an appointment with Dr. Sum








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