Dos and Don’ts After Wisdom Teeth Extraction Surgery

Removing your wisdom teeth is a major oral surgery, especially if they are partially or fully impacted (trapped in the gums or jawbone). Recovery time from wisdom teeth extraction surgery can vary, but following your oral surgeon’s instructions for healing will make a huge difference in whether or not your healing goes smoothly and without complications.

Remember to:

  • Elevate your head to reduce swelling in facial areas. If you lie down, keep your head propped up.
  • Keep the gauze in your mouth and bite gently until the bleeding stops. Insert new gauze packs if necessary and reapply pressure. Once there is no more bleeding, you can remove the gauze.
  • Use ice to minimize swelling after surgery. Apply ice packs to the surgical areas for 20 minutes every couple of hours during the daytime for the first 24 hours. After the initial 24-hour period, switch to warm compresses applied to swollen areas for 20 minutes three times a day. Swelling usually peaks on the third or fourth day.
  • Take any prescribed pain medications as directed by your oral surgeon. If you forget, the pain may be harder to control. Try to have some soft food in your stomach to prevent possible nausea from the pain medication.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Stay on a liquid diet that gradually transitions to soft foods as you tolerate them. Jello, pudding, and ice cream are good options initially.
  • Stretch your jaw gently by opening and closing your mouth to prevent stiffness.
  • Brush your teeth gently on the second day after oral surgery but avoid the extraction sites. Keeping your mouth clean is very important. Your doctor may prescribe an oral rinse.

Things to avoid:

  • Drinking with a straw: The force of suction can disturb the healing of the wounds in your mouth and cause more bleeding.
  • Piping hot beverages or foods: Start with beverages that are room temperature or warm but not very hot. As you progress to soft foods, avoid very hot temperatures.
  • Chewing: Until the anesthesia has worn off and the numbness is gone. If you cannot feel your mouth, you run the risk of chewing your tongue or otherwise injuring your already sore mouth. Sip liquids until it is safe to chew soft foods. Do not eat hard or sharp foods like pretzels or chips for at least a week after oral surgery.
  • Skipping meals: You may not feel great, but skipping meals will make you feel worse and hamper your recovery. It is important to eat nourishing meals to keep up your strength and give your body the nutrition it needs for healing.
  • Smoking: Do not smoke for at least one week after wisdom teeth extraction since it interferes with healing.
  • Vigorous rinsing: If you have been given an oral rinse, use it gently to avoid disturbing the extraction sites.

South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Provide Dedicated Care

At Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we are committed to providing outstanding patient care. We perform all types of oral surgery, including wisdom teeth extraction. Call our South Jersey oral surgeons at 856-582-4222 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, we serve patients throughout South Jersey.

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