After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Home Instructions After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth can be a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and complications such as infection and swelling can be minimized if these instructions are followed carefully.

Immediately Following Surgery

Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. You will rest under our supervision until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include postoperative instructions, prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics, a follow-up appointment and our innovative Cool Comfort Wrap, which will dramatically decrease your recovery time.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth.

Swelling

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. 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 wearing your Cool Comfort Wrap or jaw bra.

Pain

For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 3-4 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult.

For severe pain, the prescribed narcotic may be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day.

Diet

On the day of your surgery, you should consume soup and very soft foods that do not require chewing. On the next day, you may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. A high calorie, high protein intake is very important. Our staff can provide suggested diet instructions. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. 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 be taken daily. Try not to miss any meals. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.

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 up for one minute before standing.

Keep the mouth clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 3-4 times a day, with a 1/4th teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of warm water.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to old blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative presentation, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medication as directed. Antibiotics are given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.

Nausea and Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, take the medication given to you and do not take anything else by mouth for at least an hour. 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 soup and soft food again.

Other Complications

  • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As reviewed in your consultation, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. Call Dr. Lee if you have any questions.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever. Remember, there is Tylenol in your pain medication, but an additional Tylenol or Ibuprofen tablet is not a problem.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You could get light headed from low blood sugar or medications. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute before getting up.
  • Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
  • Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event and can be minimized by using your Cool Comfort Wrap.

Finally

Sutures are placed in 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. Remember, sutures can come out too as early as the evening of your surgery.  Don’t worry, Dr. Lee always puts in extra ones!

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur, call our office for instructions.

There will be a void where the tooth was removed. The void will fill in with new tissue gradually over the next month. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean, especially after meals, with the syringe that will be provided for you at your postoperative appointment.

Your case is unique, no two mouths are alike. Discuss any problems with Dr. Lee or one of this staff.

Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle at the surgical sites.