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The Dos and Don’ts of Wisdom Tooth Extraction After Care

Woman in dental chair holding her cheek due to wisdom tooth pain.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure that has specific aftercare guidelines that are imperative to a speedy and smooth recovery. Some wisdom tooth extractions may be simple, while others may have complications that require more deliberate care. 

For specific after-care instructions following your wisdom tooth extraction, speak with your experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group for specific dos and don’ts following surgery. Our skilled surgeons offer the most state-of-the-art extraction techniques and innovative patient care for the best recovery possible. 

What to Do Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction 

There are a few guidelines that you may need to consider following wisdom tooth extraction that may help speed up recovery and avoid any complications. If you have specific questions regarding the healing process of your extraction, speak with your skilled oral surgeon at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group. 

Do the following for a speedy recovery: 

  • Elevate: Elevating your head after wisdom tooth extraction may help reduce swelling in your cheeks and face.
  • Ice: Remember to ice your face for the first 24 to 48 hours to diminish pain and reduce swelling. Apply ice 15 minutes on and off for one-two hour periods. 
  • Use gauze: If you are experiencing bleeding, bite down on the gauze to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can stop using gauze. 
  • Consider diet: After wisdom tooth extraction, consider following a liquid and soft food diet to bolster healing. This may include goods like mashed potatoes, soups, and yogurt. You may slowly transition to solid food as you begin to heal. 
  • Jaw exercises: Jaw exercises can help speed up the recovery process. They can be done by gently opening and closing your mouth. 
  • Take pain medications: Take pain medications as prescribed by your oral surgeon and avoid skipping a dose. 
  • Avoid brushing the extraction site: You may begin brushing the second day after surgery but avoid brushing the extraction site to avoid infections. 
  • Use warm saltwater: You may use a warm saltwater solution several times a day to help the healing process and diminish the risk of infections. 

If you have undergone a wisdom tooth extraction, follow the specific guidelines that are given to you by your oral surgeon. These dos may help the recovery process, reduce swelling, and help diminish pain.  

What Not to Do Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction 

In order to avoid complications and infection following your wisdom tooth extraction, do not do the following: 

  • Use straws: Using straws may disrupt the blood clot that forms over the extraction region. This may exacerbate pain and bleeding. 
  • Drink alcohol: Alcohol may increase the chances of dry sockets forming if the blood clot over the extraction site becomes disrupted. 
  • Moving your mouth: Avoid talking, eating, or drinking directly after surgery.
  • Eat solid foods: Avoid solid foods for a week until the extraction site heals. Especially avoid foods such as popcorn, potato chips, and anything crunchy that may get lodged in the extraction site. 
  • Take Aspirin: Aspirin may thin the blood, which may delay the blood clot from forming over the extraction site.
  • Ice after 48 hours: Switching to a hot compress after 48 hours will promote pain reduction and healing. 
  • Poke the extraction gap: Poking the extraction gap with your tongue, fingers, or anything else may result in bleeding and a dry socket forming. 
  • Applying pressure to the extraction site: Rinsing your mouth too vigorously or applying pressure to the blood clot in any way may dislodge the blood clot and result in complications. 

On specific guidelines on what to avoid following your wisdom tooth extraction, consult your experienced oral surgeon at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group to ensure your healing process goes smoothly and you avoid complications or infections. 

When to Contact Your Oral Surgeon Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction  

If you follow the after-care guidelines set by your oral surgeon, your recovery should be simple and straightforward. However, there are some problems that may occur, even if you follow aftercare instructions closely. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your oral surgeon promptly for further treatment:  

  • Substantial bleeding hours after the procedure
  • Numbness that lingers for hours
  • A fever that exceeds 100 degrees 
  • A fever that lasts days
  • Excessive pain that doesn’t subside or worsens over time
  • Pus around or from the empty tooth sockets

If you have concerns related to the healing process or complications, it is essential to contact your experienced oral surgeon to assess if additional treatment is necessary. 

Speak With the Experienced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group

Wisdom tooth extraction aftercare may promote a simple and straightforward healing process if you follow the specific guidelines given to you by your skilled oral surgeon. At Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group, we provide state-of-the-art patient care and walk you through specific dos and don’ts following surgery. Our skilled surgeons offer the most innovative extraction techniques and exceptional patient care for the best recovery possible.

For over 25 years, Dr. Nancy Herbst at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group has provided patients with top-of-the-line care and the latest treatments that exceed your oral healthcare needs. Request an appointment or call our office at (201) 601-9262 today.