Tooth xtraction advice


Cork Emergency Departments


After a tooth extraction

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To control bleeding:

Some oozing from the socket is common in the first 24 hours. This is usually easily controlled by biting on damp gauze pads which you will be given to take home with you. If the socket is bleeding you should bite down on the gauze pad for 30 minutes before you recheck the socket. This may need to be repeated.

To control pain:

Taking a pain killer regularly in order to keep pain at bay is much more effective than waiting until the pain is severe. If you have not been given a prescription then Paracetamol should be effective.

To minimize swelling:

If you take your pain killers regularly this will help to keep the swelling down. An ice pack can be used in the first 24 hours. Make sure it is wrapped up and applied to your face for 15 minutes at a time every few hours.

No smoking:

Smoking interferes with healing of the socket and triggers bleeding or a dry socket.

Dry socket:

Sometimes a socket becomes more painful a few days after the extraction. A dry socket needs treatment to reduce pain. Dry sockets are more common in people who smoke and in women who take the contraceptive pill.

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If you have any problems contact the clinic where the tooth was extracted, or if before 5pm at the Oral Surgery Department of Cork School & Dental Hospital, 021 4545100, or after 5 pm the on-call dentist at the Emergency Department of Cork University Hospital, 021 4546400.


If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended: MUH (021) 4271971 M-UCC at SMHC (St. Mary’s Health Campus) (021) 4926900 CUH (021) 4920200 LIU Mallow General Hospital (022) 58506 Bantry General Hospital (027) 52900


Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan, Consultant in Emergency Medicine 10 March 2004. Last review Dr. ÍOS 21/01/15.