Post-operative Instructions

Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery

As you have probably seen on videos or heard from friends, recovery from wisdom teeth removal is an interesting time. Many worry about wisdom teeth removal pain. We’ll be with you every step of the way, including your recovery.

You can suspect some swelling, bleeding and discomfort. However, there are things you can do to keep these and other symptoms in check and reduce your risk of infection. At The Wisdom Teeth Guys, we will do all we can to help you with a quick and comfortable wisdom teeth extraction recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

Right after treatment, you need to follow the strict guidelines given by your doctor to speed recovery, manage pain, stop the bleeding and prevent infection. You should:

  1. Keep your first piece of gauze in place for about 30 to 60 minutes to help stop the bleeding. Once it is saturated gently remove it, discard it and replace it with a fresh piece of gauze. Repeat until bleeding slows and stops. This usually takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. It may seem like you are bleeding a lot, but also keep in mind that blood is mixing with a lot of saliva. You can bite down on moist tea bags for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in tea helps the blood to clot.
  1. Avoid touching the wound, drinking through a straw or vigorously rinsing your mouth as these activities could dislodge the blood clot and result in dry socket.
  1. Take pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed and keep up the regimen as directed by your doctor. This will help you stay ahead of infection and make pain easier to manage.
  1. Rest the day of surgery. Any form of bending, lifting, exercising or strenuous activity will increase blood flow and can result in pain, swelling or bleeding. Only resume normal activity when you feel ready and comfortable.
  1. Keep your mouth clean. Though you cannot brush the surgical sites, you still should carefully brush and floss the rest of your teeth. If you have only minimal bleeding after 24 hours, you can gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution to help fight bacteria. Gently swish it around your mouth and let it drop into the sink. Do not spit.
  1. Stick to a liquid or puree diet, drink a lot of water and avoid extremely hot or spicy foods.
  1. Use a cold compress to control pain and swelling. Just cover an ice pack with a cloth and press to the outside of your cheeks. Ice for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
  1. Nausea and vomiting are common side effects from anesthesia, pain medicines, discomfort or swallowing some blood. If you are nauseated after surgery you can try sipping on ginger ale and eating softened soda crackers to help with the symptoms. If the queasiness persists you can try switching out the next dose of prescribed pain medications for over-the-counter options or call your doctor.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery

After the first 24 to 48 hours, bleeding should subside or stop completely, swelling should come down and you should feel much more comfortable. Though you might not resume all your normal activities just yet, you can ease up on some of the strict guidelines from the first day.

If bleeding is still profuse and bright red after the first few hours you should call your provider or consult with a physician to make sure you did not remove the clot or have another problem. You need to watch for dry socket. It is a common, often painful condition where the blood clot disintegrates or falls out of the socket during the first three or four days of recovery. You might experience what feels like an earache, throbbing, a bad taste in your mouth or increased sensitivity as a result of dry socket. Infection is rare as a result of dry socket, but it can be very uncomfortable. If you have severe pain and are concerned about the problem, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and contact our office.

Trismus (stiff jaw muscles) prevents you from opening and closing your mouth normally. This common side effect often makes talking, eating and brushing your teeth difficult after wisdom teeth extraction. You should avoid using a warm compress for the first three days, but if stiffness persists beyond that, use an extra-warm moist compress on your face to help relax your muscles and relieve stiffness.

After the first day of warm or cool liquids you can start reintroducing nutritious foods into your diet. Start with softer, heavier foods like smoothies, soups, pudding, oatmeal and yogurt. As pain lessens and your ability to chew resumes you can try soft grains, eggs and heartier soups. You should still avoid anything too hot, too hard or too chewy. These foods can aggravate pain and stiffness. You should stay away from foods with small grains or seeds because these might get lodged into the surgical sites and irritate the soft tissue.

If you have any questions about your wisdom tooth extraction recovery or have a concern about the surgical site, call the Wisdom Teeth Guys in Dallas, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah right away. Our wisdom teeth specialists are ready to offer help and support wherever they can. They will address your concerns, answer your questions or schedule for you to come in if necessary.

Call our Utah office at (801) 406-8670 to schedule an appointment. We have three locations in Utah, including Bountiful, Provo, and Murray, UT.

In Dallas call us at (214) 317-4039 to schedule an appointment.  Our Dallas locations are in Arlington, Frisco, Garland, and Richardson, TX.