Your dentist may suggest a wisdom tooth removal (or third molar surgery) for various reasons. It could be to prevent further oral complications or to help maintain how well your teeth look. Once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it’s wise to follow all aftercare instructions for your safety and fast recovery.
What to Do After the Surgery
It’s natural to have some swelling after your tooth has been extracted. To help with swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. Do it intermittently; for example, you can apply it 20 minutes on, and then 20 minutes off. If the treated area was infected prior to the procedure, your dentist may suggest using warm, moist compresses rather than ice. You should do this within two days to minimize bruising or any discomfort.
Bleeding will occur after your surgery for up to 24 hours. Try to avoid spitting as it may dislodge the blood clot from the surgery site. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site 30 minutes after the procedure. It is also an option to use a wet tea bag and place it over the treated site for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag will help contract the bleeding vessels that will eventually set the blood clot.
Cleaning Your Mouth
Typically, your dentist will allow you to brush your teeth or use mouthwash 24 hours after your surgery. However, in some cases, patients are permitted to use diluted mouthwash or salt water for mouth cleansing 12 hours after the procedure. Practice care when brushing teeth, especially at the site of extraction. You may also need to avoid doing rigorous exercise, smoking, or spitting for as long as there is bleeding.
Limitations on Food
Eating, drinking, and talking should be limited for at least two hours after the surgery. Once the bleeding stops, you can only drink clear liquids and eat soft food. To avoid dislodging of the treated site, you will be asked to avoid carbonated drinks. You must also refrain from eating foods like popcorn, pasta or peanuts that may leave particles in your socket.
Your doctor will prescribe medicine that will help you manage pain and prevent infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly as directed. If you take a strong narcotic medication, you must avoid driving or operating machinery as well as drinking alcoholic beverages.
When to Reach out to Your Dentist or Surgeon
Swelling and bleeding at the treated site will improve as the days go by. If you experience or notice unusual changes or no improvement of the extracted site, you may need to call your dentist. Here are some of the symptoms and signs to look out for that suggest you need to see your doctor:
- Swelling gets worse
- Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- Excessive bleeding despite of applied pressure
- Throbbing pain 3-4 days after the surgery
- Consistent bad taste in the mouth that cannot be removed by rinsing
- Elevated fever
- Pus in the socket
- Nasal discharge in the form of pus or blood
- Persistent numbness
Know More About a Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Our highly trained medical staff will be happy to inform you about a third molar surgery. Schedule a consultation to find out if you need a wisdom tooth surgery, or if you need a professional help after getting one.