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What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Once wisdom teeth removal surgery is complete and you leave the dental office, you may believe that you are no longer at risk for developing problems but that isn’t the case. If you do not follow the post-surgery instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon, you could experience a number of problems ranging from extremely pain and infection to dry sockets and nerve damage.

Understanding what to expect after wisdom teeth removal surgery can help you properly prepare for what you need to do to keep yourself healthy and prevent any post-surgery complications.

What to Expect During the First Day After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

The first day after your wisdom teeth removal surgery will probably involve the most time consuming aftercare. During this time, you will be applying pressure to the surgical area, applying ice to your mouth, and changing out the gauze.

While every person’s aftercare instructions will vary depending upon what dentist you visit and the technique used to remove the wisdom teeth, some of the things you can expect to do during the first day after your procedure include:

  • Firmly bite down on folded gauze packs to help control the bleeding for the first hour after the procedure
  • Take a pain pill before the anesthetic wears off to avoid experiencing extreme pain
  • Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist
  • Do not remove the gauze for the first hour after
  • Change gauze every 30 to 45 minutes if bleeding continues
  • Avoid smoking
  • Do not poke or prod the surgical area
  • Avoid engaging in any strenuous activities
  • Gently brush your teeth the evening after the procedure
  • Do not spit or drink out of a straw  
  • Apply ice to face near the surgical sites to help reduce any bruising or swelling
  • Sip on ginger ale if you feel slightly nauseous

What to Expect During the First Week After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

The first week after your wisdom teeth have been removed, your body is focused on healing. The aftercare instructions you will be given will be focused on helping you heal and reducing any potential problems that may occur from the procedure.

Some aftercare instructions you can expect to receive for the first week after your wisdom teeth removal surgery include:

  • Eat soft foods that aren’t too cold or too hot. You can slowly progress to solid foods throughout the week if you feel comfortable.
  • Avoid eating foods that have small pieces, such as popcorn or nuts, as the food may get lodged in the surgical area and prevent proper healing.
  • Apply ice to your cheeks near the surgical area to help reduce swelling. Swelling can occur anywhere from 2 to 3 days after the procedure and may last for more than a week.
  • Occasional oozing and bleeding is common for the first 48 hours. Gently apply gauze to the area to stop the bleeding.
  • Use warm saltwater rinses to help keep your mouth clean. Rinses should be done at least three times a day, especially after you eat.
  • Avoid exercising for at least the first 4 days after the procedure.
  • Continue to take pain medication on an as needed basis
  • Keep brushing your teeth as you normally would, but be careful of the surgical area.
  • Apply a warm, moist towel to your face if bruising starts to occur

Some Unexpected Things That May Occur After Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery

Some unexpected things that may occur after wisdom teeth removal surgery include:

  • Sharp edges appearing in your mouth near the surgical area. This happens because small slivers of bone may have become dislodged during the procedure.
  • Yellow, black, green, or blue discoloration may occur in the facial area
  • A sore throat may develop after wisdom teeth removal surgery. The sore throat should go away after three days.
  • Stiffness and slight pain may occur when opening your mouth for the first few days after your procedure

It is important to remember that no two people’s experience with wisdom teeth removal will be the same. Some individuals heal in 3 to 4 days, while others may be slower to heal and not ready to resume regular activities for a week or so.

If you had your wisdom teeth removed at Vero Implants & Periodontics and have any questions regarding your aftercare instructions or something happens that you believe may be indicative of a potential problem, call our office. We can answer your questions and provide you with advice on how to handle the situation.