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A dental extraction can be an uncomfortable procedure, but by following a dentist’s instructions carefully, you should successfully avoid complications. After the surgery, you will leave the dentist’s office with a piece of gauze tucked into the extraction site. The gauze will help keep gentle and firm pressure on your gum to limit bleeding and encourage a clot to begin forming. When the time comes, slowly remove gauze from a tooth extraction to begin the healing process.

Wait for the time recommended by your dentist. Keep constant pressure on the gauze with your jaw for as long as the dentist instructs -- possibly up to two hours.

Notice how your mouth feels during the initial hours after your oral surgery. When the anesthesia wears off, it is time to remove the gauze from the extraction site. By waiting until the anesthesia wears off, you will be able to feel the extraction site as you remove the gauze, preventing accidental injury due to lack of sensation.

Wash your hands well with soap and dry them with a clean towel.

Open your mouth as wide as possible and grasp the gauze with your fingers. Carefully pull the gauze away from the extraction site, moving it very slowly to keep it from bleeding.

Discard the gauze after you remove it.

Open your mouth and examine the extraction site, if possible. Do not touch it with your fingers or your tongue, however.

Wait to see whether the bleeding begins again. If the extraction site begins to bleed after removing the initial gauze, roll another piece of gauze up, moisten it with water and place it onto the site.

Bite down gently on the new gauze for about 30 minutes and then remove it gently to see if the bleeding slows.

Expect light oozing or bleeding during the first 12 to 24 hours after the extraction. You may need to replace the gauze several times until the bleeding stops. When the bleeding stops, leave the extraction site without any gauze to enable the blood clot to form.

Treat continued bleeding with a wet tea bag. Wrap the tea bag in gauze and place the tea bag onto the extraction site. Bite down on it for about one hour.


If the gauze pad becomes saturated before 30 minutes elapses, call your dentist.