After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Patient Home Care Information in Bend, OR

The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. A gauze pack has been placed over the extraction site(s).  Hold this in place with gentle biting pressure.  The gauze should be changed every 20-30 minutes for the next several hours until the majority of bleeding has stopped.  The extraction site(s) may ooze for the next 24 hours which is normal.  If you have heavy bleeding, rinse your mouth gently with cold water and continue with the gauze packs.  You will need to remove the gauze when you eat and or drink.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair.

The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs.  The ice packs should be left on for 20-30 minutes at a time, then take a break for 30 minutes.  You may need to supplement the gel packs you were given with ice in a bag.  After 48 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.

If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Fourty-eight hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the amount of the swelling.

Pain Management

Take the pain medications once you get home.  You should eat a little something 20 minutes prior to taking the pain pills and take the medication in accordance with the prescription.  You may also take 400-600mg of Advil or Ibuprofen two hours after the pain medication.  Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking narcotic pain medication.

Diet and Food Suggestions

After general anesthetic or IV sedation, liquids should be initially taken. Do not use straws. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot.

You may eat soft, cool foods the first day like jello, applesauce, yogurt, pudding, milkshakes and smoothies.  The day after surgery you may have warm foods like soups, pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc.  High calorie, high protein intake is very important.  You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly.