Tips for full extraction

Jan 17, 2023
I will be getting a full mouth extraction soon, and wondered what tips anyone might have to make recovery less scary.
I've had single extractions, so I know about the salt water, no swishing or sucking, no smoking, take meds as prescribed, take it easy, etc.
But should I do anything like order extra gauze pieces, something topical for pain, are there any protectors that can make things feel less uncomfortable? How does one eat when their whole mouth is an open wound, basically?
I'm not getting the interim dentures.

Dr M

Verified Dentist
May 31, 2019
You will have to stick to soft foods initially. There is a high chance that food might get stuck in some of the sockets, leading to possible dry-sockets, but if you follow the post-op instructions, you should be fine. The pressure from the interim dentures, usually helps to stop the bleeding, so based on the amount of extractions that is being done, there might be some prolonged bleeding.
Other than that, follow all the instructions given to you by the treating dentist/surgeon.



Verified Dentist
Mar 18, 2018
  1. Have soft foods ready in the fridge - soups, noodles, pasta...
  2. Make sure you are sutured up - it surprises me that some dentists don't always do this.
  3. Have someone to be with you at home or available to call for at least the first 4 days.
  4. Get an after-hours tel number from the dentist. They should have a schedule to ring you the following day and thereafter.
  5. The best painkillers nowadays are combination acetominophen and ibuprofen, e.g. "Nuromol", "Maxigesic". I will rarely give an extra 'script for an opiate, but only to be taken at night if necessary. Take a dose of "Nuromol" just before surgery, then take it every 6 hrs for the next 2 days, even if you are feeling better. Then change down to acetominophen if possible. NEVER exceed 4000mg (8 tabs) of acetominophen per day.
  6. Expect bruising. To minimise, have some cold packs ready at home or make your own with ice-cubes in a plastic bag. Always wrap in a cloth (face-washer) and apply for 20mins on, then 20mins off for 1st 24 hrs.
  7. Dry sockets (DS) do not occur because the blood clot is dislodged by food or swishing - long disproven. The risk factors are: extractions of lower teeth, smoking, difficult extractions, contraceptive pill. If DS occurs, it will come on about 3-4 days post-op and be unresponsive to painkillers. The dentist should contact you at about this time to check in.
  8. Salt water is all very well as a mild antiseptic, but a 0.2% hlohexidine mouthwash, e.g. "Savacol" is much, much better. Start it 2 days before the extractions (twice daily) and keep up until you go back for a review (1 week?).
  9. If you are well sutured, then bleeding shouldn't be a problem. For high risk (of bleeding) patients, a tranexamic acid mouthwash might be prescribed. A compounding pharmacist can make it up, or I just give patients the tabs with DIY instructions.
  10. Good luck helps a bit too!


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