First night after tooth extraction

Experiencing a tooth extraction can be a daunting process, and the first night post-procedure is crucial for recovery.

Understanding what to expect and how to manage pain, swelling, and potential complications is essential for a smooth healing process. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the first night after tooth extraction, ensuring you take the right steps for a quick and comfortable recovery.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What to expect the first night after a tooth extraction?

In the first few hours post-tooth extraction, it's normal to experience some bleeding and pain. Applying gauze to the extraction site and using prescribed pain relievers can help manage these symptoms. Expect a certain degree of discomfort and plan to rest.

Avoid any strenuous activity to prevent further bleeding or swelling.

How to deal with immediate post-extraction symptoms?

After a tooth extraction, it's common to experience some bleeding, pain, and swelling.

  • Initially, bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pad placed by your dentist, changing it every 30 to 40 minutes. 
  • Avoid rinsing, spitting, or sucking actions for the first 24 hours to protect the blood clot forming in the tooth socket. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not unusual. 
  • For pain management, follow your dentist’s prescription or use recommended over-the-counter pain relievers.

Managing pain and swelling the night after tooth extraction

To manage pain, adhere to your dentist's instructions regarding pain medication. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen can be effective. 

To reduce swelling, apply a cold pack to the cheek near the extraction site for 10 minutes at a time. Elevating your head with extra pillows can also help reduce swelling.

How to sleep the first night after tooth extraction

To reduce swelling, sleep with your head elevated above your heart. Use extra pillows to prop yourself up. Avoid sleeping on the side of your tooth extraction, if possible, to prevent putting pressure on the affected area.

What are the signs of infection after a tooth extraction?

Be vigilant for signs of infection such as excessive or prolonged bleeding, severe pain that doesn't subside with medication, swelling that worsens after 2-3 days or a fever.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately.

What should you eat and drink the first night after tooth extraction?

Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods like yoghurt, pudding, or soup. Cold foods like ice cream can also help soothe the extraction site. Stay hydrated with plenty of water but avoid using a straw as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot forming at the extraction site.

Read our in-depth article if you´re uncertain about how long after the tooth extraction you can eat.

What should you avoid first night after tooth extraction?

  • Avoid hot foods and beverages, as these can increase bleeding. 
  • Don't consume alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated, or hot beverages for at least 24 hours. 
  • Refrain from smoking or using tobacco products, as these can impede the healing process.

Frequently asked questions

Is it normal to experience bleeding during the first night after tooth extraction?

It's normal to have some bleeding after a tooth extraction. Manage it by biting gently on gauze and changing it as needed. Avoid actions like vigorous rinsing that could disturb the blood clot. Contact your dentist if heavy bleeding continues.

Are there any specific oral hygiene practices I should follow after tooth extraction?

After a tooth extraction, practice gentle oral hygiene. Don't brush the extraction site for 72 hours to protect the blood clot. Brush and floss other teeth carefully. After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution to keep it clean.

Can I smoke or drink alcohol after tooth extraction?

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 24-48 hours after tooth extraction. Smoking increases the risk of dry socket. Both can also interfere with healing, increase infection risk, and affect medication effectiveness.

Can I brush my teeth night after tooth extraction?

For the first 72 hours following the procedure, it is crucial to avoid brushing directly at the extraction site. This precaution helps in safeguarding the blood clot that forms in the socket, which is integral to the healing process. Disturbing this clot can lead to complications such as dry socket, a condition that can cause significant discomfort and delay recovery.

Can I eat normally night after a tooth extraction?

You can usually start eating soft and liquid foods a few hours after the extraction. Avoid hard, chewy, or hot foods for a few days. Gradually reintroduce other foods as your comfort allows.

Related articles