After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removing your impacted wisdom tooth is a serious surgical procedure. That’s why it is important for you to carefully follow these post-operative care instructions to avoid the unnecessary pain and complications of infection and swelling.
Immediately After Surgery
- Keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area in place for a half hour. Afterward, remove and discard the gauze pad.
- Gently rinse your mouth and avoid touching the wound area after surgery to ensure you don’t accidentally dislodge the blood clot that is forming and trigger bleeding.
- Take your prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort, which may occur as the effects of the local anesthetic wear off.
- Restrict your daily activities on the day of your surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
- Place ice packs to the sides of your face where your wisdom tooth was removed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you’re awake during the first 36 hours after the procedure. Afterward, switch to the application of moist heat, which helps to reduce swelling.
What to Do for Bleeding, Swelling or Pain
- Bleeding. It’s normal to see a certain amount of bleeding after surgery. To control excessive bleeding, rinse or wipe any old clots from your mouth, place a gauze pad over the surgical site and bite down firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps your body to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. It also helps to sit upright, avoid exercise and remain calm. If bleeding doesn’t subside, call for further instructions.
- Swelling. It’s not uncommon to notice swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face on the day following surgery. This swelling will likely increase until the second or third day after the procedure. Rest assured it’s your body’s normal reaction to surgery and subsequent healing. Simply follow the instructions for the use of ice packs and moist heat described above.
- Pain. You’ll find relief from moderate pain by taking one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every three to four hours, or two to four tablets of Motrin or Advil (200 mg) every three to four hours. For more severe pain, take your prescribed pain medication as directed. Because prescription pain relief will make you groggy and slow your reflexes, do not drive or work around machinery. You’ll notice how the pain or discomfort following surgery lessens each day. If pain persists, call the office to see if additional follow-up care is needed.