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Wisdom Tooth Extraction or Removal - Oral Surgery Guidelines To Speed Healing
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.
The First Step After Oral Surgery: Proper Care for Bleeding
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:
- Form a thick pad from clean gauze; dampen it and place the pad directly on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
- Apply some pressure by firmly biting on it for about 30 minutes.
- Replace the pad with a clean one if it becomes soaked with blood.
- If heavy bleeding continues, call your wisdom tooth dentist.
- Avoid sucking on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
Protect the Blood Clot
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.
Dental Care And Things You Must Avoid After Oral Surgery:
- Sucking or blowing motions
- Drinking through a straw for 24 hours
- Rinsing your mouth vigorously
- Mouthwash (until your wisdom tooth dentist approves its use)
- Cleaning teeth next to the extracted site for the rest of the day
- Strenuous exercise for 24 hours
- Hot liquids or alcoholic beverages
Reduce Swelling and Pain of Oral Surgery
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.
Proper Oral Care after Oral Surgery
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:
- Numbness doesn't subside within a few hours;
- You experience nausea or vomiting; or
- You have severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever in the wisdom tooth extraction area.
Oral Surgery Guideline for Consumers
by Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO
Visit Our Office Regularly!
Take good care of your smile. Remember to visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
Mouthwash Is Important, Too!
Brushing and flossing may not be enough. The ADA now recommends using an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce plaque and prevent gingivitis.
Don't Forget to Floss!
Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria can hide between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gum line.