After Wisdom Tooth Removal

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

Immediately Following Surgery…


1. Keep ice packs applied to your cheeks constantly, for 72 hours.

2. Some bleeding is normal. The gauze pad, which was placed over the surgical site, should be left in place for at least 1 hour after leaving the office. If slight bleeding continues, it is usually controlled with firm pressure for 60 minutes – bite down on a moist gauze pad. If necessary, this may be repeated 2 or 3 times – change the gauze each time. If bleeding continues after the above measures, soak some gauze in strong black tea and place it in the area of the bleeding. Place a clean gauze pad on top and bite down firmly. If bleeding is not controlled or seems excessive, call our office at (403) 286 – 5000 or after hours emergency cell (403) 852 – 8610.

3. No smoking or drinking alcohol for 48 hours (2 days) following surgery.

4. Brush your teeth gently and rinse carefully.

5. Get plenty of rest.

6. Take prescriptions provided by our office, as discussed, according to instructions.

7. Drink plenty of clear fluids – at least 8 glasses of liquid a day. • Avoid straws and hot beverages

8. If lips are dry and/or cracked, keep moist with cream or ointment.

DAY TWO (and after)

1. Begin rinsing your mouth using warm salt water (dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water) after meals and before bed. Brush your teeth with a small amount of toothpaste.

2. Use the syringe provided – insert the syringe into the socket to irrigate and cleanse food particles from the holes, especially lower wisdom tooth surgical sites.  Irrigation Demo

3. After 72 hours, you may apply heat on the outside of the face with warm moist cloth/towel/water bottle.

4. Sutures will self-dissolve, unless otherwise indicated. They will fall out approximately 5 – 10 days after surgery.

5. Bruising may appear which gradually fades.

6. If jaw muscles become stiff, begin stretching exercises after the third day (stretch your mouth open and closed, several times a day).

7. Blood tinged saliva is normal for several days following surgery, especially while brushing and rinsing.

8. Eat soft foods as soon as possible. Select foods that are nutritious and easy to chew, for example: soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies, scrambled eggs, yogurt, etc. Avoid spicy foods.

9. Continue drinking clear fluids.

10. Resume normal diet when you are ready.

Post-Anesthetic Information

1. If bowel habits are irregular, a mild laxative such as Colace may be taken as indicated by pharmacist or our office.

2. Some patients experience nausea and vomiting after surgery. Persistent vomiting may cause dehydration. Gravol may be taken orally or by suppository as directed. Contact our office is vomiting persists.

3. During surgery, medications with sedative effects are administered. These cause drowsiness and dizziness and the effects may last for 24 hours.

4. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours following surgery.

Other Healing Side Effects

A period of healing following oral surgery is necessary and the length of healing time varies from person to person, depending on their surgery. During this time please be prepared for common side effects; these include,

1. Bleeding. (The section above explains how to manage this. )

2. Mild to moderate pain. Medications rarely eliminate all pain, and some discomfort is probable during the first few days. Carefully follow instructions provided with pain medication prescriptions.

3. Other teeth may ache temporarily.

4. Stiffness (trismus) of the jaws may develop the first day after surgery and usually begins to fade approximately the 3 – 5 days following surgery. Stretching exercises (wide opening and closing of your mouth) may relieve stiffness. If trismus persists beyond five days please contact our office.

5. Mild earache or sore throat for a few days following surgery.

6. Swelling on the inside and the outside of your mouth. Swelling usually continues to increase until the 3rd day, and then gradually subsides. Consistent application of ice packs helps limit swelling.

7. Numbness (paraesthesia) on the corner of the mouth, chin and tongue. It is usually temporary and gradually disappears over several weeks. Please advise our office if numbness continues.

8. There may be a hole (socket) in the area where the tooth was removed. This defect gradually fills in over the following several weeks. It is very important to keep the socket(s) clean and free of food particles, using the syringe provided.