After the Removal of Teeth for Denture Wear


Some bleeding on the day of surgery is normal. The gauze sponges placed when you left the office should remain in place with firm biting pressure for 45-60 minutes. Generally this will control bleeding. If significant oozing or bleeding persists, replace the gauze sponges for additional periods of 30-60 minutes. If you run out of gauze and bleeding persists, you may use a moistened tea bag in a similar fashion. Should bleeding begin again once it has stopped, repeat the above. Once bleeding has stopped do not disturb the area. If wearing the denture causes bleeding to occur, remove the denture and reapply gauze sponges. When bleeding is controlled you may wear the denture.


Some pain is expected following any surgical procedure. Medication has been prescribed that should provide relief. You should start this medication before the anesthetic wears off and take it as directed. Do not attempt to drive or operate hazardous machinery or participate in activity that requires physical effort or mental alertness while taking this medication. Use of low dose Ibuprofen or Tylenol between prescription dosages will increase your comfort and may be used when the stronger pain medication is no longer necessary.


Some swelling is expected following surgery. Swelling will reach its maximum 1-2 days after surgery and then start to go down after that. Use of an ice bag or a wet and nearly frozen wash cloth over the cheek in the surgical area will help minimize swelling. Apply the ice pack on and then off for 15-30 minutes at a time for the first 1-2 days after surgery. Beginning 2 days after surgery, the use of moist heat packs or hot wet wash cloths externally and warm salt water for soaking in the mouth will help resolve swelling and jaw stiffness. Apply heat for 15-30 minutes at a time, at least 3-4 times daily until you have returned to normal.


Avoid nausea by treating your system gently. Begin taking fluids or bland soft foods as soon as possible. Start with small quantities, a little at a time. Consume whatever is generally agreeable to you. Do not take medication on an empty stomach and do not take several different medications all at once. Spread them out over time so as to not upset your stomach. If a medication is causing a problem, this will help sort out which medication is responsible. If nausea develops and persists you may need to suspend all medication or be prescribed special medication to help control the problem.


Do not try to chew solid food until feeling has returned to your lip and tongue. This is to prevent accidental biting of the lip and tongue. There are no unusual dietary restrictions. You may eat or drink whatever you can. However, your jaws may be stiff, and normal opening and chewing may be uncomfortable. Be sure to keep up your nutrition and hydration. Some examples of items you may eat are scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, soup or broth, puddings, ice cream, jell-o, cottage cheese, applesauce, cream of wheat, etc. DO NOT use straws as this suction may result in bleeding or loss of clots.


DO NOT rinse vigorously, spit, gargle, use a straw, or create commotion near the surgical site. These activities may cause bleeding to start or may cause loss of blood clots and development of dry sockets. You may clear your mouth of blood by taking a mouth full of ice water or mouth wash, rolling your head from side to side, and then lean over the sink letting the fluid fall out of your mouth.

DO NOT smoke or use smokeless tobacco. These activities may cause bleeding to start, may cause loss of blood clots and the development of dry sockets. They may also contribute to infection in the surgery sites.

Take your prescribed medicine as directed. Continue any medication your physician may have prescribed. Try not to take medication all at one time. This may upset your stomach. If you have had an IV Sedation or General Anesthesia, or are taking strong pain medication do not drive or operate hazardous equipment or engage in activities that require physical stress or mental alertness for at least 24 hours afterwards.

Try to keep your dentures in place until the next day. This will aid in controlling swelling. About 24 hours after surgery, you may remove your denture(s). Rinse the dentures with water and brush them gently with an ordinary soft toothbrush. Do not disturb any temporary relining material.

Ask your dentist about the use of denture adhesives. Until the gums have healed and the denture has been relined or refitted, you may find some adhesive helps with denture stability and retention. Do not apply excessive amounts and do not apply to any area where it may contact sutures and cause them to be pulled out. In the upper denture, a small amount on the area that covers the roof of the mouth or palate may be helpful. In the lower denture, apply to areas where no surgery was done.

Learning to wear and function with a new denture does take some time. You may notice increased saliva production. This will diminish with time. Speech may require extra effort for a while but you will adjust. If you develop sores under the denture or at the periphery, your dentist will need to make adjustments. If the bite is uncomfortable, additional adjustments can be made. In most cases, as you heal and the surgery sites mature, the denture will need to be relined or refitted. Talk to your dentist about when this should be done. If the denture remains loose or unstable, ask about dental implants as a way to fix or stabilize the denture.

Have someone stay with you following surgery to help you with your needs. Do not get up too quickly or you may experience dizziness or fainting spells. While reclining after your surgery, cover your pillow with a towel. If you drool or ooze, the clean-up will be easier. If you are inactive, it is important to take frequent deep breaths and to passively exercise your calves and legs.


1. You have any questions or problems.

2. Uncontrollable bleeding occurs.

3. You experience discomfort that is not relieved by your medication.

4. Swelling develops or increases later than 2 or 3 days after surgery.

5. You develop an elevated temperature.

6. You think you are having an adverse reaction to any prescribed medication.