After Wisdom
Teeth Removal

Post-Op Instructions

Home Instructions After

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is a major surgical procedure, and it's essential to follow post-operative care instructions diligently. By adhering to these guidelines, you can greatly minimize the chances of unnecessary pain, potential infections, and swelling, ensuring a more comfortable and successful recovery.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • Keep the gauze pad in place on the surgical site for approximately 30 minutes. After this time, you can safely take off and discard the gauze pad.
  • To ensure a smooth recovery, refrain from vigorous rinsing of your mouth or any disturbance to the surgical area after the procedure. These actions may dislodge the blood clot that has formed, potentially causing bleeding. It's crucial to let the surgical site heal without disruption.
  • Commence taking the prescribed pain medication as soon as you begin to feel any discomfort, usually when the effects of the local anesthetic are wearing off. Taking the medication promptly will help manage pain more effectively.
  • During the day of the surgery, it's crucial to restrict your activities to facilitate a smooth recovery. You can gradually return to your regular activities as you start feeling comfortable and prepared to do so. Listen to your body's signals, take it easy, and give yourself the necessary time for proper healing.
  • Place ice packs on the sides of your face where the surgery was performed. Applying ice can help reduce swelling and offer relief. For more comprehensive instructions on effectively managing swelling, please refer to the dedicated section addressing this issue.


Anticipate some post-surgery bleeding; this is a normal occurrence. You may observe slight bleeding, oozing, or a faint redness in your saliva. In the event of excessive bleeding, take steps to remove any old blood clots from your mouth, place a gauze pad over the surgical area, and bite down firmly for 30 minutes. If necessary, you can repeat this process. If bleeding persists, consider biting on a black tea bag for 30 minutes; the tannic acid in the tea can aid in clot formation by contracting blood vessels. To minimize the risk of further bleeding, remain calm, maintain an upright sitting position, and avoid strenuous activities. If bleeding continues despite these efforts, please reach out to our office for additional guidance.


Swelling is a typical response of the body to surgery, and its extent usually corresponds to the complexity of the procedure. Post-operative swelling can affect various areas, including the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face. While this is a natural part of the body's healing process, it often becomes noticeable only on the day following surgery and typically peaks around the third or fourth day.

To help minimize swelling, it's advisable to apply ice packs immediately after the surgery. You can use two baggies filled with ice or commercial ice packs and place them on the sides of your face where the surgery was performed. Keep these ice packs on continuously while you are awake for the initial 48 hours. Beyond this timeframe, the effectiveness of ice diminishes.

If you experience swelling or jaw stiffness for several days, there's no need for concern, as this can be a regular part of the healing process. After the initial 48 hours post-surgery, you can introduce moist heat applications to the sides of your face. This can assist in reducing inflammation in your jaws and promote improved blood flow to the sore muscles, aiding in your recovery.

It's crucial to adhere to these instructions and monitor your progress. If you have any concerns or if you believe the swelling is excessive, do not hesitate to contact your surgeon for guidance.


For mild to moderate discomfort, you can take one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours as needed. Alternatively, you may opt for Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) in place of Tylenol. The over-the-counter version of Ibuprofen is available in 200 mg tablets, and you can take 2-3 of these tablets up to four times a day, ensuring not to surpass 3200mg in a day for an adult. If the patient is under 18 years old, please reach out to our office for appropriate dosage guidance.

For severe pain, follow the prescribed medication instructions closely. Do not take any of the previously mentioned medications if you are allergic to them or if your doctor has advised against it. Refrain from driving or operating machinery, and avoid alcoholic beverages. The pain or discomfort you experience after surgery should gradually diminish each day. If the pain persists, it may require attention, and you should reach out to the clinic for further guidance.


Following general anesthesia or IV sedation, begin with a liquid diet. Use a glass for drinking and avoid using straws, as the sucking motion could disrupt the blood clot and lead to additional bleeding. You can also introduce soft foods into your diet, making sure to chew away from the surgical areas. It's essential to maintain a high-calorie, high-protein diet, and our team can provide dietary recommendations. Be consistent with your nourishment and stay hydrated by consuming fluids regularly. Since your solid food intake will be limited during the initial days, increase your fluid intake accordingly. Aim for at least 5-6 glasses of liquids daily, and try not to miss any meals. Regular eating habits will contribute to your well-being, increased strength, reduced discomfort, and faster healing.

CAUTION: Rapidly transitioning from a reclined to an upright position after your surgery may result in dizziness. To prevent this, take a full minute to sit up before attempting to stand. This gradual change can help stabilize your blood pressure, reducing the likelihood of dizziness.

Oral Hygiene

You can brush your teeth, but be gentle when brushing around the surgical areas. Avoid any form of rinsing until the day following your surgery. Starting from the day after your surgery, make it a point to rinse your mouth at least 5-6 times daily, particularly after meals, using warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt mixed in a cup of warm water).


In certain cases, you may observe skin discoloration after the initial swelling phase. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow shades on your skin occurs due to blood spreading beneath the tissue layers. This is a typical post-surgical occurrence that may become visible 2-3 days after the procedure. Applying moist heat to the affected area could help accelerate the resolution of this discoloration.


If antibiotics have been prescribed to you, make sure to take them precisely as instructed, whether they are in tablet or liquid form. Antibiotics are intended to help prevent potential infections. If you experience any adverse reactions, such as a skin rash or any other unusual symptoms, discontinue the antibiotics immediately and contact our office without delay. If you have any questions or require clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Nausea and Vomiting

If you experience nausea and/or vomiting after surgery, avoid oral intake for at least one hour, including any prescribed medications. After this time, slowly sip on mild beverages such as coke, tea, or ginger ale. Sip slowly over a fifteen-minute interval. Once the nausea subsides, you can gradually reintroduce solid foods and resume taking your prescribed medications.

Other Complications

  • If you experience numbness in your lip, chin, or tongue, there's no need to worry. As explained during your consultation, this condition is usually temporary. However, exercise caution, as you may inadvertently bite your lip or tongue due to the numbness. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Dr. Beltran for assistance.
  • A slight increase in body temperature immediately after surgery is not uncommon. If this elevated temperature persists, please contact the office. You can take Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce the fever.
  • Exercise caution when moving from a reclining to a standing position, as medications or a drop in blood sugar can potentially cause dizziness. To prevent this, sit upright for one minute before attempting to stand.
  • At times, patients may feel hard fragments in their mouth with their tongue. These are not tooth roots but rather parts of the bony structure that supported the tooth. Usually, these fragments smooth out on their own. If they persist, Dr. Beltran can assist by removing them.
  • If the corners of your mouth become stretched, they may dry out and develop cracks. To prevent this, keep your lips moisturized with a product like Vaseline.
  • Sore throats and discomfort while swallowing are common after oral surgery. Swelling of the muscles in the area can make swallowing painful. This discomfort typically subsides within 2-3 days.
  • Stiffness in the jaw muscles may make it difficult to open your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a common post-operative occurrence and should improve on its own as time passes.

Additional Information

  • Sutures are placed in the surgical area to minimize post-operative bleeding and promote healing. Sometimes, they may become dislodged, but this is not a cause for concern. If a suture comes loose, you can simply remove it from your mouth and discard it. The sutures will be removed approximately one week after surgery, and this process is quick and painless, requiring no anesthesia or needles.
  • Your pain and swelling should gradually diminish with each passing day after the surgery. If you notice an increase in pain or swelling, or if you experience any unusual symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact our office for further guidance and support.
  • After tooth extraction, a void will be present where the tooth used to be. Over the course of the next month, this gap will gradually fill in with new tissue. During this time, it's essential to maintain good oral hygiene by keeping the area clean, especially after eating. You can achieve this by using saltwater rinses or a toothbrush as directed. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our office.
  • Your case is unique, as no two mouths are identical. If you encounter any concerns or questions, it's best to consult with the experienced professionals who can provide you with the most suitable guidance: Dr. Beltran.
  • Brushing your teeth is permitted, but exercise caution and gentleness when cleaning the surgical areas.
  • Your case is unique, as no two mouths are the same. Discuss any concerns with our experienced professionals, who are best equipped to assist you effectively.
  • If you regularly engage in physical activity, be aware that your usual nutrient intake may decrease. Exercise can potentially lead to feelings of weakness. If you experience dizziness, it's essential to stop the activity immediately.
In cases of heavy bleeding, severe pain, adverse reactions to medication, or if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Beltran Periodontics.