After Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
After your wisdom teeth are removed, it is important to take care of the surgical sites. This can include gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol, or using straws. It is also crucial to take any prescribed pain medications directed by our oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
Most people recover from wisdom teeth extraction in just a few days. Here are a few tips to help you care for your extraction site and make your healing process complication-free:
Immediately Following Wisdom Tooth Removal
- Keep the gauze pad over the wound for at least a half-hour past surgery. If the wound is still bleeding, place a new gauze pad over the wound for another 30 minutes. Do not keep changing out the gauze, as it will cause more bleeding.
- You will still feel drowsy if you have general anesthesia for your procedure and need someone to drive you home.
- Postoperative discomfort is normal after oral surgery, especially after the general or local anesthesia wears off. You should take your pain medications as prescribed when you feel pain or discomfort. You should also take any other prescriptions, such as antibiotics, as directed.
- You should avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or disturbing the area around the wound. This can initiate bleeding and cause the blood clots over the wound to become dislodged. This will, in return, lead to dry sockets, which can be very painful.
- Place an ice pack on your face on the sides where your teeth were removed to help manage pain and reduce swelling. Swelling post-extraction is entirely normal and should subside with time.
Days After Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Restrict any strenuous activity until you completely heal and are feeling comfortable and pain-free.
- Continue to take prescribed medication as needed. Take 2 Tylenol (325 mg) every 6 hours or 1 Ibuprofen (600 mg) every 6 hours. You can also take 1 Tylenol and 1 Ibuprofen simultaneously every 6 hours for more intense pain.
- Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages while you are taking pain medication.
- Eat soft foods and avoid hard, hot, and spicy foods, chewing away from the surgery site. Eating high-calorie and high-protein meals is very important to promote healing.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid using a straw as the sucking motion can cause the blood clot to become dislodged and cause dry sockets.
- Keep your mouth clean by brushing your other teeth to avoid developing tooth decay. Be sure to avoid brushing the extraction site, and rinse gently. You should be sure to rinse your mouth after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.
Signs You Should Seek Medical Attention
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a common oral and maxillofacial surgery, but it is important to be aware of the signs that indicate you may be experiencing complications. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call our office immediately.
- A fever of 100.4 F or higher
- Pus or drainage coming from your extraction sites
- Heavy bleeding that has not subsided
- Severe pain that is not alleviated by the medication prescribed
- Swelling that gets worse after three days post-extraction
- Facial numbness that has not subsided after a week
You should have a smooth and complication-free recovery following your wisdom tooth extraction surgery by following these instructions. Please give our office a call if you have any questions regarding your recovery or if you have any concerns.