After Wisdom Tooth Removal

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

Gauze Dressing Maintain firm pressure on the surgical sites by biting on the gauze packs. The gauze should be removed and replaced when saturated. Usually this is necessary about every 30 minutes. If necessary, new gauze can be placed and constant biting pressure maintained on the area until the bleeding has stopped. DO NOT SPIT. This may cause the blood clot in the socket to become loose and create more bleeding.

Bleeding – Slow oozing is normal for the first 18-24 hours following surgery, and the saliva will have a red tinge as a result. If there seems to be an excessive amount of bleeding, you should contact our office. In addition, a certain amount of swelling and/or bruising in the cheeks may occur. This is usually of no concern and it is not a complication.

Comfort –Try to take the pain medication which has been prescribed for you within one hour after your surgery. You may repeat the dosage every 4 – 6 hours as needed for discomfort. Take any medications that have been prescribed for you as directed on the container. Some pain medications may cause drowsiness, and you should not drink alcohol, drive or operate dangerous machinery while taking them. If a rash or itching should occur, discontinue all medications and call the office immediately.

Ice – On the day of surgery, ice packs should be applied to the side of the face of the extraction(s) for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off during waking hours. This can be continued beyond the first day; however, it only has minimal effect after 24 hours.

Mouth Hygiene – Avoid all mouth rinsing for at least 12 hours after surgery. Thereafter, you may rinse with warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of warm water) and diluted mouthwash several times a day, and after each meal. Brush your teeth regularly, but use care in the surgical areas. Do not use an irrigating syringe or water pick for at least 5 days following surgery.

Do Not Smoke Smoking should be avoided for 5 days after surgery. The dryness and suction smoking causes in your mouth may cause the clots to come loose, a condition known as dry socket, which can be uncomfortable.

Eating To aid in the healing process, it is important to obtain adequate nutrition and calories. If chewing is difficult, try blended, smooth and creamy foods such as eggs, soup and casseroles. Drink juices and fluids throughout the day. For 7 days after surgery, refrain from popcorn, peanuts, chips, and other hard crunchy foods, which can become lodged in surgery sites and cause irritation. Straws and carbonated beverages should be avoided for 5 days after surgery on lower teeth, and at least 24 hours after upper extractions. Salty, spicy or acidic foods may also need to be avoided.

Nausea and Vomiting This can usually be prevented by taking medications after meals. If you feel the medications are causing your nausea, call the office and we will prescribe a different medication.

ActivityRestrict physical activity for the first 24 hours following your surgery. When at rest, elevate your head with 2 pillows, which may be covered with a towel.


  • Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery
  • Do not smoke, spit or drink through a straw
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, for at least 24 hours after sedation, or while you are taking narcotic pain medication.


  • Maintain an adequate diet.
  • On the day after surgery, clean your mouth and tongue with a tooth brush or soft cloth, and rinse regularly with warm salt water.

If you have excessive pain, swelling or bleeding, please call our office at 210-344-9898.