After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Understanding what to expect and how to care for yourself during this time is crucial for a successful wisdom tooth removal.


Immediately following your wisdom teeth removal surgery, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure a smooth recovery. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area in place for at least 30 minutes to control bleeding.
  • Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area to prevent dislodging the blood clot.
  • Take prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort, typically when the local anesthetic wears off.
  • Restrict your activities on the day of surgery and gradually resume normal activity as you feel comfortable.
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort.


  • Temporary numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue is normal.
  • Slight fever is common immediately after surgery.
  • Exercise caution when transitioning from lying down to standing to prevent lightheadedness.
  • Hard projections in the mouth are normal and usually resolve on their own.
  • Keep lips moist with an ointment like vaseline if corners become stretched or cracked.
  • A sore throat and pain when swallowing is common and will subside in 2–3 days.
  • Jaw stiffness (Trismus) may occur but will resolve in time.


Bleeding and swelling are common after wisdom teeth removal. Some bleeding is normal after surgery, and it’s common to experience slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva.

If bleeding becomes excessive, you can take steps to control it:

  • For bleeding, gently bite on damp gauze for one hour after extraction and repeat as needed. If bleeding persists, try biting on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in black tea can help form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels.
  • Avoid lying flat and elevate your head with a pillow.
  • To reduce swelling, apply ice packs to the sides of your face where the surgery was performed for the first 24 hours. Afterward, switch to warm compresses.


Post-operative discomfort is normal after wisdom teeth removal.

For moderate pain relief, you can take one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours. Alternatively, you may opt for Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) instead of Tylenol. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen typically comes in 200 mg tablets, and you can take 2-3 tablets up to four times a day, with a maximum daily dosage of 3200mg for adults. If you’re under 18, please consult our practice before taking these medications. It’s important not to take both medications simultaneously.

  • Take prescribed pain medication as directed, but avoid operating machinery or driving while under its influence.
  • Pain typically peaks 24-48 hours after surgery and gradually subsides. If pain persists or worsens, contact your oral surgeon for further instruction.

Avoid these medications if allergic or advised by your doctor.


Maintaining a soft diet is crucial during the initial stages of recovery. High calorie and high protein intake is also very important for recovery. Our staff can provide suggested diet instructions.

What to eat and avoid:

  • Start with clear liquids and advance to soft, non-chewy foods like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and pasta.
  • Avoid hot liquids and smoking, as these can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • Drink from a glass and do not use a straw.
  • Drink at least 5-6 glasses of liquid per day.


Keeping your mouth clean is essential for preventing infection.

Oral hygiene tips:

  • Avoid vigorous rinsing for the first 24 hours, then rinse gently with warm salt water or prescribed mouthwash.
  • The day after surgery, rinse your mouth 5–6 times a day, especially after eating, with warm saltwater (1 tsp salt in 1 cup water).
  • Brush your teeth gently, avoiding the surgical site(s).


Black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration may occur 2–3 days after surgery due to blood spreading beneath the tissues, which is a normal post-operative occurrence.

How to head discoloration:

Apply moist heat to the area to help speed up the removal of discoloration.


Antibiotics are prescribed post surgery to help prevent infection.

  • Take antibiotics as directed to prevent infection.
  • Discontinue use if any unfavorable reactions occur and contact our office immediately.


In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery:

  • Refrain from taking anything by mouth for at least one hour if you experience nausea or vomiting.
  • Sip slowly on coke, tea, or ginger ale over fifteen minutes once the nausea subsides, then begin solid foods and prescribed medicine.


While complications are rare, it’s essential to be aware of potential warning signs.

Contact your oral surgeon if you experience:

  • Excessive bleeding that cannot be controlled with gauze.
  • Persistent pain, nausea, vomiting, swelling, or fever.
  • Dry socket symptoms, such as increased pain and a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Any concerns or questions about your recovery progress.


  • Sutures placed after surgery help minimize bleeding and aid healing; removal occurs approximately one week later.
  • The void left by the removed tooth will gradually fill with new tissue over the next month.
  • Each case is unique; consult with our experts for personalized care.
  • Adjust exercise routines due to reduced nourishment intake and potential weakness.

You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

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