After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Please read the following instructions carefully. Wisdom tooth removal is a serious procedure. These important steps should be taken to minimize discomfort and complications.
Immediately Following Surgery
► After surgery, keep the gauze pad in place for at least one half hour. Then it may be discarded.
► A blood clot will naturally form over the wound. Avoid disrupting this clot with vigorous rinsing or touching the wound. Disturbing the clot will cause bleeding.
► Once the anesthetic wears off, you will begin to feel some discomfort. Take your prescribed medication as soon as you feel any pain.
► Rest for the rest of the day and avoid strenuous exercise until you feel better.
► Use ice packs or cold compresses on the cheek to minimize swelling.
There will be a small amount of bleeding and red saliva for the first day and this is to be expected. If the wound is disturbed, and heavy bleeding begins, place a new, clean gauze pad on the wound and bite down for at least thirty minutes. If heavy bleeding does not subside, please call our office.
Swelling after surgery is a normal response by the human body. Facial/oral surgery is often accompanied by post-op swelling. Swelling is not an immediate effect and usually becomes more apparent the following day and may be worse on the second day which is, again, very normal. Use ice packs or cold compresses on the side of the face where the surgery was performed to minimize the swelling effect.
Tylenol and Ibuprofen can be taken to manage pain. If you receive a prescription for advanced pain management, please follow the instructions as directed. Do not use alcohol or any non-prescribed narcotic for pain management.
Only liquid foods should be taken after the surgery to prevent damage to the wound. Do not use a straw and sip from a cup instead (a straw will create a vacuum inside the mouth which could also damage the wound). Your liquid diet should be high in protein and carbs to provide energy. You will need at least 6-8 glasses of liquid each day until you are able to chew again.
Immediately after surgery, take care not to sit up too quickly after lying down. Dizziness can occur. When you do sit up, give yourself one minute before standing.
Keep the mouth clean
Do not rinse your mouth for at least 24 hours so as to not disturb the blood clot. After the 24-hour period, you should rinse with warm water and salt at least 5-6 times a day to keep the wound disinfected.
Discoloration of the gum tissue after surgery is normal and often appears 2-3 days later and is made more apparant during and after swelling. The discoloration is simple bruising – blood under the tissue that has spread out.
If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics, please take them as directed. In the event a rash develops, stop taking the medication and call our office immediately.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea after wisdom tooth extraction is common. This symptom can arise due to ingested blood or from the sedation. If you feel nauseous after your surgery, stop taking any food including your prescribed medications. Sip lightly on ginger ale and give yourself an hour. Once the nausea goes away, you may resume eating and your medication.
► Numbness around the mouth and including the tongue is a normal sensation. Call the office if it does not go away after a few days or if you’re concerned.
► The development of a slight fever is also normal. You can control a fever with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. If your fever is elevated or if it does not go away after 24 hours, please call the office.
► During the first 24 hours after the procedure, take care to rise slowly after lying down and then waiting a full minute before standing. Dizziness can occur from getting up too fast.
► You may feel hard, bone-like protrusions around the wound with your tongue. These are walls that had supported the tooth and will eventually go away. If they do not, call the office and speak to your surgeon.
► Dry, cracked lips are a common issue after oral surgery due to a prolonged period with your mouth stretched wide open. Vaseline and other ointments will easily heal your cracked lips.
► You may experience a slight sore throat or even pain when swallowing. This is due to the swelling that may occur in your muscles after the surgery. This should go away in a few days.
► Similarly, you may also experience a stiffness of the jaw muscles. This is also very common after wisdom tooth removal and will dissipate over time.
► Depending on the individual, sutures may be involved. These sutures are removed a week after surgery in a painless manner. In case a suture becomes detached from the wound before your return visit, just throw it away.
► The pain and swelling may intensify for a few days after the surgery, but will then decrease day by day. If you find the pain or swelling getting worse, please call our office. Likewise, if you find you are experiencing strange symptoms not listed here, please call our office.
► Where the wisdom tooth was removed will be an empty cavity. This cavity will fill over time with your own tissue. During this process of minimization, the cavity could become a haven of bacteria resulting from food getting stuck within. This is why it is necessary to keep the mouth clean with regular rinsing.
► You may still brush your teeth. Use a soft brush, brush carefully and avoid the wound.
► If the blood clot is released from the wound prematurely, it may lead to what’s called a “dry socket” which can lead to pain at the site and in the ear. Call the office if this occurs.