Post-Operative Instructions for Wisdom Tooth Extractions

During the post-operative period following your wisdom tooth extraction, it’s vital to follow your doctor’s instructions. This way, you’ll speed up the healing and minimize the chances of complications and ensure a positive outcome.

What should I do immediately after the procedure?

After a tooth extraction, rule number one is not to disrupt clot formation at the site of the surgery. Your surgeon will tell you to bite down on a gauze pad for up to 45 minutes following the tooth removal. Once the time is up, spit out the gauze and dispose of it.
You should avoid rinsing your mouth and touching the wound the day after the surgery because doing so can remove the clot. You can start taking your prescribed pain medication after the anesthetic starts wearing off. Placing ice packs on your cheek can help reduce the swelling. Rest after the surgery and resume your normal activities only when you feel like you can.

How much bleeding should I expect?

It’s normal to bleed after the extraction. However, this should be moderate bleeding, which can be stopped by biting on a gauze pad or a tea bag for about half an hour. If the bleeding persists or it’s profuse, you should contact us for further instructions.

Will there be any swelling?

You can expect there to be some swelling in your face after the procedure. It usually reaches its peak two to three days post-op and eventually subsides. You can help it go down sooner by applying ice packs to your cheek for as long as possible. If the swelling is still there after three days, ice won’t be effective in reducing it, but you can use moist heat to help it diminish more quickly.

Will I experience any discomfort?

You may feel some discomfort after the anesthetic wears off. This is why your doctor will recommend pain medication that you can begin taking as soon as you feel it. If the discomfort is moderate, take 1-2 tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours.
Alternatively, go for Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). You can take 2-4 tablets every 3-4 hours. If you’re in severe pain or the pain continues for several days, get back to your doctor and follow his instructions.

Will I bruise?

You may bruise as a normal reaction to surgery. Bruises could occur two to three days afterward. Moist heat will speed up their healing.

What can I drink and eat?

You need a lot of fluids, but be careful not to use straws as sucking can dislodge your clot and cause the site to bleed. Soft foods like yogurt or smoothies work well because they won’t irritate you. It’s important for you to get enough calories during the recovery process, especially from protein.

Will I have to take antibiotics?

Yes, you’ll take prescribed medications to ward off infection. They need to be taken as instructed.

How do I keep my mouth and teeth clean?

Excellent oral hygiene facilitates healing. Avoid rinsing your mouth immediately after the tooth removal. After a day has passed, you should begin rinsing with a warm salt water rinse. Simply take a cup of warm water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. Use this mixture to rinse your mouth gently 4-5 times a day. This is also the time to start brushing your teeth again, but don’t be rough.

What if I feel sick?

Some people feel nauseous after the procedure. If this happens, take small sips of coke, ginger ale, or tea until you feel better. Don’t take your medication, or eat or drink anything else for about an hour.