After Wisdom Tooth Removal
Home Care Instructions After Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Oral Facial & Implant Specialists have some care instructions that we recommend our patients follow post-surgery:
- Immediately following surgery, the gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for half an hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
- Do not rinse and/or touch the wound/surgical area following surgery. This may cause bleeding to occur if the blood clot that has formed becomes dislodged.
- Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off.
- Restrict your daily activities the day of the surgery and only resume your activities when you feel comfortable.
- Place ice packs wrapped in towels on both sides of your face at the surgical area.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon.
Excessive bleeding can be controlled by rinsing or wiping any old blood clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush your teeth next to the extraction site for the first 72 hours post-surgery. These activities can dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow down the healing process.
To minimize the bleeding sit upright and avoid exercise and activities.
Please contact our practice if bleeding becomes uncontrollable.
Swelling is an extremely common side effect following surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag covered with a towel to the surgical area(s). It is recommended that you apply ice to the area as much as possible, for up to 36 hours post-surgery. You can apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, then rest the area for another 20 minutes, then re-apply the ice.
Swelling can also occur around the eyes, sides of the face in addition to the site of the surgery. Swelling may not occur until the next day or days following surgery. You can expect to experience stiffness or tightness along the jawline; this is also normal.
The application of moist heat can be helpful after 36 hours of applying ice.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin occurs as it is accompanied by swelling. Black, blue, green, or yellow skin is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a common post-operative occurrence, occurring 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
Start taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate to severe pain, our surgeons recommend taking two Ibuprofen 400mg total (or Motrin) every 3-4 hours. Consult our practice for individuals under 18 and avoid taking more than two different types of medications at the same time.
For extremely severe pain and throbbing, the medication prescribed by your surgeon should be taken, as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them or have been instructed by your surgeon.
It is also recommended that you not drive an automobile or work around machinery for the first 36 hours after surgery and avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Please consult our practice should pain persist 36 hours post-surgery.
Please take the prescribed antibiotics as directed by your oral surgeon to minimize infection. Our surgeons recommend that you complete the course of antibiotics.
Only consume a liquid based diet following a general anesthetic or intravenous sedation. It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids post-surgery; avoid hot liquids, soups and hot foods in general, but liquids (such as smoothies, yoghurts, ice cream), can be eaten on the day post-surgery, making sure not to use straws. You can start returning to a normal diet as soon as possible, unless otherwise directed by your oral surgeon.
A diet that is high in calories and rich in protein is important. Our professional staff are available to provide suggested dietary instructions and prevent dehydration to ensure you are receiving a balanced diet and correct nourishment following surgery.
Practicing good oral hygiene is an essential part of the healing process. Post-surgery it is recommended that you do not use rinses or mouthwashes.
The day after surgery you can begin rinsing at least 5-6 times/day, especially after eating, with a teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of warm water.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
Nausea and Vomiting
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not consume anything by mouth for at least an hour, including any prescribed medications. Sip slowly on coke, tea, or ginger ale over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.
- If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs, there is no cause for alarm. As reviewed in your pre-surgical consultation, this is typically temporary in nature.
- You might experience a slight fever or elevation of your body temperature i following surgery and this is not uncommon. If your temperature persists, please contact our practice. Tylenol, Tylenol or Ibuprofen can be taken to reduce the fever.
- Try to get up slowly when needing to stand after sitting or lying down. Be careful when getting up too quickly; sometimes you can experience faintness or dizziness.
- Occasionally, patients might feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, these can be removed by the oral surgeons.
- Sore throats and pain when swallowing is not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
- Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal occurrence.
- Stitches are placed in the surgical area to minimize bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures are typically reasonable (melt away).
Any pain, discomfort and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling becomes worse or unusual symptoms occur, please contact our practice.