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Post-Operative Instructions: Wisdom Teeth Extraction


The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is a serious surgical procedure, so post-operative care is very important.


  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for an hour. After this time, if bleeding is still active, replace gauze; otherwise, discard.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing and/or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged, which can cause a dry socket.
  • Once numbness is gone and gauze has been discarded, try to eat something soft, avoiding anything hard, sticky, or chewy. At this point take your pain medication. NEVER TAKE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
  • Do not drive a car, ride a bike, or drink any alcoholic beverages while taking prescribed pain medications as well as the day of the surgery.


  • Bleeding may continue for a short time or may persist until the next day. You could have small amounts of intermittent bleeding for up to 2 weeks. Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze packs until it stops. If profuse bleeding or any other problems occur, please call.


  • Pain, swelling, and bruising will reach its peak at 3–4 days after surgery. Discoloration and tightness opening the jaw are normal post-operative events. Do not be alarmed. Maximal swelling is expected on the third and fourth day after surgery and may last for several days. Elevating the head during sleep can help minimize swelling. A sore throat or tender nose may also occur.


  • A liquid diet is necessary until the numbness is gone, approximately 2–3 hours, e.g., soup, milkshake, JELL-O®, coffee, tea, etc. Drink directly from the glass or use a spoon. After numbness is gone then a soft diet, e.g., macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, etc., chewing away from the surgical sites.
  • DO NOT USE A STRAW. The sucking motion, such as smoking or using a straw, can cause more bleeding or dislodge the blood clot, causing a dry socket.
  • You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. At least 5–6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily.
  • Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. Try not to miss any meals; you will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.


  • Good dental hygiene is important and should be started the day after surgery. Brush your teeth well and begin rinsing with warm water with a pinch of salt added. Do this several times a day, especially after eating. This keeps the surgical site clean and free from food.


  • If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed.
  • Antibiotics may be but not always given to help prevent infection.
  • Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office immediately.


  • Sutures are sometimes placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Most of the time the sutures or stitches used dissolve by themselves and small pieces will come out approximately 4–6 days following surgery. This is to be expected.


After your procedure, you may resume taking all regularly prescribed medications as ordered unless otherwise instructed by your provider.

If the sinus is entered during surgery, you will be informed by the doctor or nurse. In this case, please follow instructions below also:

  • NO nose blowing for 1 week.
  • NO blowing a wind instrument for 1 week.
  • Take all prescribed medications as directed. If you feel air flow at the extraction site, please call.


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