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Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare

After any type of surgery, you need to time heal and recover. Wisdom teeth removal is no exception. The oral surgeons at Summit Facial take your comfort seriously and strive to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Yet without the proper care and rest, you not only prolong the healing process but risk further complications. To ensure a speedy recovery, consult this wisdom teeth removal aftercare guide.

Immediate Post-Surgery Care

wisdom teeth removal aftercare gauze

Once you’re out of surgery, you need to keep the wound covered with gauze for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after you’ve removed the gauze, replace it with a fresh piece and leave in for another 30 minutes or until bleeding subsides. Avoid rinsing, spitting or swishing, which can aggravate the wound or rip out the sutures. If you were prescribed any pain medication, take as directed and get plenty of rest. Limit your activity until you feel recovered.

Food and Drink Restrictions

To avoid complications such as dry socket or infection, stay clear of solid food until the wound sufficiently heals. As you recover, you can slowly reintroduce solid foods to your diet. If you experience additional discomfort when eating, allow the wound more time to heal. It is also important to refrain from using straws. Sucking actions can reopen the wound, risking potential infection. In the days immediately following wisdom tooth removal, stick with soft or liquid foods (purees, smoothies, jellies) and drink directly out of a glass.

Treatment for Pain, Swelling and Bleeding

You can expect to feel mild to moderate pain or discomfort in the days following surgery. For most patients, over-the-counter Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil is effective enough to alleviate pain. To reduce swelling, make sure to ice the affected area frequently for the first 48 hours. Apply and remove ice in 20-minute increments. Finally, it’s common for the wound to bleed for a day or two until it fully clots. If moderate bleeding persists, rinse the mouth to remove existing clots, then firmly apply gauze for thirty minutes. To encourage clotting, chew on a tea bag to release tannic acid, a natural coagulant.

Oral Hygiene

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene practices when recovering from wisdom teeth removal. You can resume brushing the same day as surgery, but mindful of your sutures. Avoid swishing and spitting when rinsing. The day after surgery, you should gently rinse your mouth five to six times per day with warm salt water to help keep the wound clean.

Additional Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare Instructions

Here is some more information to bear in mind after surgery:

  • If your surgeon prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take as directed to prevent infection. Stop taking if any unexpected reactions or rashes occur and consult your doctor.
  • If you experience nausea or vomiting in the immediate aftermath of surgery, do not attempt to eat solid food or take additional medication. Instead, slowly sip a carbonated beverage such as ginger ale or cola until nausea subsides. If vomiting persists, speak with your doctor.
  • As anesthesia wears off after the procedure, numbness and tingling are common on the first day and no reason to worry. However, if numbness persists, contact your oral surgeon.
  • During surgery, your lips can chap or crack. Use Vaseline or similar product to alleviate discomfort and restore moisture.
  • When resting, keep your head elevated to reduce swelling.
  • Stiffness and muscle pains are common in the days following surgery.

Your oral health is too important to place by the wayside. As always, consult your doctor before pursuing any treatments. For more information about wisdom removal, wisdom teeth removal aftercare or to schedule an exam, request an appointment at Summit Facial today.