What to do after your wisdom teeth are removed?
Aftercare for the wisdom teeth removal procedure
To control bleeding directly place gauze over the sockets where the wisdom teeth were removed. Bite firmly on the gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. Constant pressure will help stop any bleeding. Do not chew on the gauze and talking should be kept to a minimum if possible. The tooth socket can ooze for 1-2 days after the procedure. A small amount of blood and a large amount of saliva can appear to be a large amount of blood. If the bleeding is more than a slight ooze, fold a piece of gauze in half and place over the tooth socket. Close your mouth for at least 30 minutes to apply pressure over the area.
Here are things that can cause bleeding
- Sucking on a straw when drinking. This can create a negative pressure that dislodges the blood clot in the tooth socket
- Avoid spitting for 1 week. Spitting can also cause negative pressure which can disrupt the blood clot. If you have to expel saliva or water from your mouth, tilt your head forward and open your mouth over a sink. Wipe the remaining fluid from your mouth using a napkin. Avoid spitting.
- Strenuous activity or exercise. Avoid strenuous activity and/or exercising for a week. Such activity can significantly increase your blood pressure which can cause bleeding from the tooth sockets.
Sometimes oozing may occur during the night and blood mixed with saliva may be found on the pillow.
Bruising can occur on the cheeks or underneath the jaw line. Bruising is not dangerous and does not increase pain or infection. Bruising can be seen as early as the second day and can last as long as 2-3 weeks. The discoloration will turn from a brown/blue appearance to yellow over a 1-2 week period. The bruising will drift slowly down the neck area.
Swelling usually reaches a maximum after 3 days. The first day after the procedure, there may not be significant swelling but it may show up soon after. Application of ice packs to the areas where the wisdom teeth were removed can help minimize swelling. Ice should not be placed directly on the skin but rather should have a layer of dry cloth between the ice container and the tissue to prevent superficial tissue skin damage. An ice pack from your oral surgeon usually have a outside protective layer to prevent this. The ice pack should be kept on the local area for 20 mintues and then left off for 20-30 mintues. Ice pack application should be maintained for about 24 hours.
Patients who have had extractions may avoid eating because of local pain or fear of pain when eating. A high calorie, high volume liquid diet is recommended for the first 24 hours. Fluids can include water, juices, jello, smoothies and clear soups. The diet can be advanced after 1 day to thicker liquids like soups and shakes. For the rest of the week, a soft diet (i.e. mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, macaroni) is tolerated well. Avoid spicy or hot foods. NOTE: Patients with diabetes must stay on an ADA diet that is approved by their primary care physician. After 1 week, most patients return back to a regular diet.
Patients can gently brush their teeth the day of the procedure. However, avoid brushing the teeth immediately adjacent to the extraction sites to avoid bleeding and/or pain. Gently rinsing is acceptable with warm salt water. A saline solution can be prepared by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8 ounce glass of warm water. Normal hygiene daily routine can be resumed on the 3rd or 4th day.