Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"How long after a tooth extraction before eating and drinking? "

ZocdocAnswersHow long after a tooth extraction before eating and drinking?


Does the gauze need to stay in?


Thanks for your question. Your doctor or dentist will be able to explain this more fully, but there are some general guidelines that can be followed. The gauze will usually stay in for only a short amount of time, to help stop some of the oozing that can happen after a dental extraction.

See a doctor who can help

Find Dentists near you

Often, there is a small blood clot that will form over the tooth socket that has been extracted. This will serve to protect the bone underlying the extracted tooth, and will help to prevent that bone from becoming infected. For that reason, your doctor or dentist will often recommend that you avoid drinking with a straw and a few other things that could dislodge the clot and cause more pain and a longer healing time. Some like to prescribe antibiotics, but all of these things can vary from person to person and dentist to dentist. For that reason, you will often receive a set of written instructions about how to care for your mouth following the tooth removal. If you did not receive this information, then it is entirely appropriate to call the office of your caregiver to make sure that you follow instructions. Again, please speak with your doctor or dentist.

Need more info?

See a dentist today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.