Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you are coming to us to get your wisdom teeth removed, then it is natural to be scared. The process of removal of wisdom teeth is complex and it is a serious surgical procedure. For recovering soon, post-operative care plays an important role. If you follow the instruction thoroughly, it will help you avoid unnecessary pain and complications like pain or infection. In fact, these steps can minimize swelling too.
Things to do Immediately After the Surgery
- After the surgery, the oral surgeon will place a gauze pad on the surgical wound for half an hour. After that stipulated time, you need to remove the gauze pad and discard it.
- In order to stop the bleeding and start the healing process, it is necessary for a blood clot to be created in the surgical wound. The patient must avoid rinsing mouth vigorously and touching the wound just after surgery. These things might dislodge the blood clot and it will start bleeding.
- After the surgery, for some time, the mouth will remain numb due to local anesthesia. But the moment the effect of it starts getting diminished, the patient will feel pain. That is why it is important to take the prescribed medication so that the pain doesn’t increase.
- On the day of surgery and after the procedure is done, restrict your activities, go home and rest. Resume your normal activity when you feel comfortable.
- Place an ice pack on the side of the cheek of the surgery to reduce pain. Refer to the point “Swelling” for more information about this.
After the extraction of your wisdom teeth, you can expect a certain amount of bleeding. It is natural. Slight bleeding, oozing or a touch of redness in the saliva is natural too. To control the excessive bleeding, after the procedure is done, rinse and wipe your mouth and then place a gauze pad directly on the wound and bite it firmly for thirty minutes. If the bleeding or oozing continues, then you need to remove the gauze pad from there and replace it with a new one and repeat the same procedure. Or you can use a moist tea bag to keep on the wound too. The tannic acid from the tea bag helps in clotting blood which will stop the bleeding. Once it is stopped, make sure you are sitting upright. Don’t exercise or get excited. It might increase your blood pressure, resulting in further bleeding. If bleeding continues for a long time after the procedure is done, contact us immediately.
The swelling of your face, after the procedure, is directly proportional to the surgery involved. In the case of wisdom teeth extraction, you can expect a certain amount of swelling on the side of the face of surgery. Swelling around the mouth, cheek, and eyes is not uncommon and nothing to be scared of. This is your body’s way of reacting normally to the surgery. The swelling is most likely to become apparent from the following day of the surgery and will go down after 2-3 days. The patient can minimize the swelling by continuously applying an ice pack. Ice packs or two baggies filled with ice should be applied on the side of the cheek of surgery. The patient needs to apply the icepack for the thirty-six hours following the surgery as much as they can when awake. After that, ice won’t be beneficial for the swelling. If the stiffness around jaw and swelling persist for a few days more, don’t get alarmed. This is not unusual. If the thirty-six hours after the surgery have passed, apply moist heat on the side of the face of surgery as it will effectively help in reducing the swelling.
If the patient is feeling a moderate amount of pain after the surgery is done, it is natural. To treat that, one or two Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol can help, if taken every 3-4 hours. Instead of Tylenol, you can opt for Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) 2-4 tablets of 200mg every 3-4 hours.
If the patient is experiencing severe pain, then the prescribed medication needs to be taken. These pain medicines can make you groggy and affect your reflexes. That is why while taking this medication, the patient must avoid driving. At the same time, do not consume alcohol. The pain should subside naturally and gradually with each passing day. If the pain persists, you will need medical attention. Call us immediately at 704.892.9500 for consultation.
After the sedation with IV or general anesthesia, the patient is supposed to take liquid. Do not suck on straw for liquid intake. The sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot at the place of surgery and it will start bleeding again. Drink from a glass. If you are having any solid food, chew it away from the wound of the surgical site. It is necessary that you take high protein and high-calorie food after the surgery. As you will be losing blood and strength, it is necessary that you take enough fluid to prevent dehydration. At least 5-6 glasses of liquids consumption are necessary for you. For the first few days, your eating will be affected. Having solid food can be difficult for the following few days of surgery. This should be compensated with a sufficient intake of fluid. If you are eating properly and getting enough nourishment, only then the pain will subside quickly and you will heal faster. Do not miss any meal in a day.
Caution: The patient might feel dizzy when suddenly sitting up or standing after lying down for surgery, due to weakness. This is normal. Take at least one minute before you stand up after lying down for some time.
Keep the Mouth Clean
Until the following day of surgery, the patient must avoid rinsing the mouth with water to prevent the dislodging of the blood clot on the wound. From the next day onwards, brush your teeth but avoid the wound and don’t rinse your mouth vigorously. However, it is necessary to keep the mouth clean from the excess saliva, food particles, and debris. For that, rinse your mouth gently with warm water with a teaspoon salt in it.
Discoloration of the skin with swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. The blood might spread beneath the tissue turning the skin black, blue, green, and yellow. If it happens during the post-operative time, within 2-3 days, don’t be alarmed. Apply moist heat on the area after 36 hours of surgery to reduce discoloration.
Antibiotics will be prescribed after the surgery to prevent infection. Even if there are no symptoms of infection, continue with the course of antibiotics that have been prescribed. However, if any side effects start showing, discontinue, and contact with us.
Nausea and Vomiting
Following the surgery, you might feel nauseous. There might be vomiting too. In that case, refrain from food intake or having prescribed medicine for one hour. After that, slowly sip on tea, ginger ale or coke for a period of fifteen minutes. Once the feeling of nausea subsides, you can again take food and the prescribed medicines.
- After the surgery, you might feel a temporary numbness in your lip, tongue, or chin. There is nothing to be alarmed about it. Be careful so that you don’t end up biting your lip or cheek or tongue.
- You might notice a slight elevation of temperature. Tylenol or Ibuprofen can take care of it. If the fever persists, notify us.
- You might feel dizzy or light-headed while sitting up or standing up after lying down for a while, especially immediately following the surgery. This is natural and only due to the prolonged period of not having any food or fluid. Take a minute or two before you get up.
- Don’t be alarmed if you feel a hard projection in your mouth. It is not the root or debris but the bony wall that protected the teeth. This will become smooth with time spontaneously. If it doesn’t happen, talk to us.
- During the surgery, the corners of your mouth might be stretched for removing the teeth. It can cause them to dry out. Use Vaseline or this type of ointment to keep your lips moist.
- If you develop a sore throat after surgery, don’t be scared. It happens as the muscle gets swollen as it is too close to the site of extraction. It will subside in a few days.
- Trismus or stiffness in the jaw will be there following the surgery, which might make opening the mouth a bit difficult. But it will also go away after a few days.
To promote healing, there might be sutures in the surgical wound. If you find the sutures to be dislodged, don’t worry. You can remove it yourself from your mouth. Generally, after one week of the surgery, sutures are removed from the surgical site. This process is painless, short, and needs no anesthesia.
Once the tooth is removed, there will be a cavity. Over the next few months, new tissue will develop and fill the cavity. In the meantime, you need to keep this place clear of food particles and debris. Brush your teeth after meals or use salt water to rinse.
Every case of wisdom teeth extraction is unique as your body is different from others. Hence, avoid following well-intended suggestions from friends and only listen to your oral surgeon.
You can brush your teeth but be careful and gentle around the surgical site.
If the blood clot is removed from the socket, it will be dry and it can cause pain in the area and around your ear of that side within 2-3 days of surgery. If it happens, give us a call at 704.892.9500.
Avoid exercising for the next few days following the surgery. As your body is not getting enough nourishment due to your limitations with food intake, you might feel weak and light-headed.
For more information or immediate medical attention, call at 704.892.9500 to consult our oral surgeon.