After oral surgery, it is important to follow all the instructions provided by your oral surgeon or wisdom tooth dentist.
Here are some guidelines to speed your recovery and healing.
To limit bleeding after oral surgery, your wisdom tooth dentist or oral surgeon may place a gauze pack on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
This should be left in place for 30 to 45 minutes after leaving the office.
Bleeding might continue after the pack is removed.
If it does, follow these instructions:
A blood clot should form in the wisdom tooth extraction site; this needs to be protected for proper healing. Healing is a delicate process and requires the restriction of certain activities; otherwise the blood clot can be dislodged.
Your oral surgeon or wisdom tooth dentist may give you a plastic ice pack to apply to your face on the way home. A cold compress helps reduce swelling. Apply either a cold compress or cold, moist cloth periodically. Switch to moist heat (a warm wash cloth) 24 hours after oral surgery. Check with your oral surgeon or wisdom tooth dentist regarding how often and how long to use a compress.
Your oral surgeon or dentist may prescribe medication to prevent infection and control pain. Carefully follow the instructions. If you experience severe pain, swelling, bleeding, fever, nausea or vomiting, contact your wisdom tooth dentist.
Your mouth should be gently rinsed (not vigorously) with warm salt water the day after oral surgery. Add ½ teaspoon salt to one-cup warm water. Be sure to rinse after eating to keep food particles out of the extraction site.
Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing your tongue is also advised to eliminate bad breath and an unpleasant taste that often accompanies oral surgery. Floss at least once a day, too.
Follow your dentist or oral surgeon's instructions carefully after dental surgery.
Contact your wisdom tooth dentist or oral surgeon if you have any of the following problems:
Oral Surgery Guideline for Consumers
by Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO