Aftercare Instructions Following Wisdom Tooth Removal

The extraction of impacted teeth is a significant surgical procedure, and proper postoperative care is essential to minimize pain and reduce the risk of complications such as infection and swelling. By following these instructions closely, you can promote optimal healing and recovery.

Immediate Post-Surgery Care

  • Keep the gauze pad placed over the surgical area in position for thirty minutes. Afterward, discard it and replace it with a new pad if bleeding persists.
  • Avoid vigorous rinsing or touching the surgical site to prevent dislodging the blood clot, which can lead to bleeding.
  • Take prescribed pain medications before the numbness wears off and continue as needed.
  • Limit activities on the day of surgery and gradually resume normal activity as comfort allows.
  • Apply ice packs to the sides of your face to reduce swelling.

Managing Bleeding

  • Some bleeding is normal after surgery. If excessive bleeding occurs, rinse your mouth to remove old clots, then apply firm pressure with a gauze pad for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary, or use a moistened tea bag to promote clotting.
  • Sit upright, avoid excitement, and refrain from exercise to minimize further bleeding.

Addressing Swelling

  • Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, and eyes is typical after surgery and may peak three days after the operation. Apply ice packs to reduce swelling for the first 36 hours, then switch to moist heat to aid in its reduction.

Managing Pain

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen as directed for moderate pain. For severe pain, use the prescribed medication, but avoid driving or operating machinery while under its influence.

Dietary Considerations

  • Begin with liquids after general anesthesia or IV sedation, avoiding the use of straws to prevent dislodging blood clots. Gradually progress to soft foods and maintain adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration.
  • Eat high-calorie, high-protein foods regularly to promote healing and strength.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

  • Refrain from rinsing until the day following surgery, then rinse with warm salt water at least five times daily, especially after meals.
  • Brush teeth gently, avoiding the surgical sites.

Additional Considerations

  • Discoloration and swelling are normal postoperative occurrences and can be managed with heat application and proper medication.
  • Follow antibiotic and nausea/vomiting management instructions as directed.
  • Be cautious of numbness and exercise restraint to prevent injury.
  • Contact our office if persistent pain, swelling, or other complications arise.

Your recovery is unique, and it's essential to follow these guidelines closely for optimal healing. For any concerns or questions, trust in the expertise of Dr. Wilson to provide personalized care and support.


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Phone: (805) 925-1440


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207 Station Way, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Phone: (805) 574-1200


  • MON - THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • SAT - SUNClosed
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