After Wisdom Teeth Removal

The removal ofimpacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is veryimportant. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling canbe minimized if the instructions are followed carefully. Studies have shown that the use of tobaccoproducts will decrease blood flow and oxygen to the healing tissues. This will cause more pain and delay thehealing. It is also well know thatsmoking will contribute to a painful condition known as dry socket. Therefore it is very important that you donot smoke for several days after your surgery.

Immediately Following Surgery

The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged. Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable. Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed.


It is normal to experience bleeding after your surgery. If you change the gauze frequently or are spitting constantly the bleeding will last longer. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. If you do experience bleeding fold 1 or 2 pieces of dampen gauze and place directly on the area that is bleeding and bite on it for 30 to 40 minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved.Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon.This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes then removed for 5 to 10 minutes while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This isa normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


For moderate pain, 1 to 4 tablets over the counter 200mg Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may betaken every 4 to 6 hours. If unable to take ibuprofen you can take 1 or 2 tabs of Tylenol Extra Strength. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.


Soft foods such as MILK SHAKES, MASHED POTATOES, OATMEAL, ICE CREAM, PUDDING, and JELLO OR GROUND MEATS can be eaten in the first few days. Also, you should avoid using a straw for two days as the sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. As the swelling goes down you may resume your normal eating habits. If you become nauseated it is probably from the pain medication. Taking the pain medication after meals can minimize this nausea. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days.You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should betaken daily.

Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing. No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.


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 take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke,tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Other Complications

If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful. Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Ibuprofen or Tylenol should be taken to reduce the fever.

Occasionally,patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots; they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Dr. Flynn. Sore throat and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days. Stiffness (Trimus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery.This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.


Sutures are placed the area of surgery to minimize post-operative 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 will dissolve several days after surgery. The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually over the next month fill in with the new tissue. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses. Your case is individual,no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well intended advice from friends.Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you: Dr.Flynn or your family dentist. Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle at the surgical sites.

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs. Sometimes it is necessary to rinse the surgical area and place medication into the site. If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced.Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

Should you have any questions or problems after your surgery please call the office at 321-3236 during normal business hours if you have an emergency after hours please call 342-1020