Where do you feel the pain
After an oral surgeon corrects problems or damage to the mouth, teeth and jaw. These are the aftercare methods to ensure that your aftercare needs are met.
It can take up to two weeks to fully recover after having your wisdom teeth removed.
During this time, you may experience:
- Swelling (inflammation) of your mouth and cheeks – this will be worse for the first few days, but gradually improves; gently pressing a cold cloth to your face helps to reduce the swelling
- A stiff, sore jaw – this should wear off within 7 to 10 days; the skin around your jaw may also be bruised for up to two weeks
- Pain – this is worse if the extraction was complicated
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Tingling or numbness of your face, lips or tongue (although this is uncommon)
You should report any excess bleeding, severe pain or any other unusual symptoms to your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
To reduce pain and aid your recovery, it can be helpful to:
Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (always read and follow the manufacturer’s dosage instructions) – there’s some evidence to suggest that ibuprofen is the best painkiller to take after having wisdom teeth removed
Avoid strenuous activity and exercise for a few days
Use an extra pillow to support your head at night
For 24 hours, avoid rinsing, spitting, hot drinks or anything else that may dislodge the blood clots that form in the empty tooth socket, as they help the healing process
Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
Eat soft or liquid food for a few days and chew with your other teeth
gently rinse the extraction site with antiseptic mouthwash after 24 hours, and repeat this regularly over the next few days – you can also use warm water with a teaspoon of salt as mouthwash, to reduce gum soreness and inflammation
Working and driving
It’s usually recommended that you take a day or two off work after having a wisdom tooth removed. You can drive immediately after the procedure if local anaesthetic was used, but you should avoid driving for at least 24 hours if a sedative was used, or 48 hours if the procedure was carried out under general anaesthetic.
Returning to normal
After your wisdom teeth have been removed and any swelling and bruising has disappeared, your mouth and face should return to normal. You’ll usually be able to brush your teeth normally after a few days. Make sure you finish any course of antibiotics you’ve been given.
A check-up appointment may be arranged for about a week or so after the procedure. At this point, any remaining stitches may be removed.
- MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two or three times daily.
- BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but it is extremely important to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort. Maintaining a clean environment adjacent to the healing surgical wounds is required for optimum and speedy healing.
- HEALING: Normal healing after surgical exposure should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement. If you dont see continued improvement, please call our office.
- DISCOLORATION OR BRUISING: The development of black, blue, green or yellow discoloration is due to bruising beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence that might appear 2-3 days after surgery. Beginning 36 hours after the surgery, moist heat applied to the area may speed up resolution of the discoloration.
- SHARP EDGES: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls, which have changed. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.
- DRY LIPS:If the corners of your mouth are stretched they may dry out and crack. Keep your lips moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
- SORE THROAT: This is not uncommon after oral surgery. The muscles get swollen and this may make swallowing painful. This should go away on its own in 2-3 days.
- STIFF JAW MUSCLES: This may cause a limitation in opening the mouth wide for a few days after surgery. This is a normal post-operative event that usually resolves during the week after surgery. Stretching these muscles may help to speed up resolution of this problem.
In some cases, a bracket or other orthodontic attachment is placed at the time of surgery; should the bracket come off before visiting the orthodontist, please call our office. Your doctor will see you seven to ten days after surgery to evaluate the healing process and make sure you are maintaining good oral hygiene. You should plan to see your orthodontist within 1-14 days to activate the eruption process by applying the proper rubber band to the chain on your tooth.
Your case is individual no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well-intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the person best able to effectively help you your surgeon!
Take care to only have cold drinks and do not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for the first day and do not ‘swill’ liquid over the area. Try not to disturb the area with your tongue or fingers. Do not undertake strenuous exercise for the first 48 hours (running / gym).
You may have some swelling and/or bruising following your treatment – this usually reaches a peak 2 to 3 days later. This is quite normal and both will subside naturally after a few days. Swelling can be reduced with ice packs (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a towel. Hold on the cheek area for a maximum of 10 minutes at a time with 20 minutes break. After 24 hours gentle heat is more beneficial. Sleeping propped up slightly on 2-3 pillows may also help.
Pain should not be a big problem. Although you may be sore for a few days after any surgery in your mouth, this can be easily managed with simple analgesics (pain killers). You should take these regularly at the maximum stated dose for the first 2 days after your surgery. Take whatever painkillers you normally take for headaches, aches and sprains (ibuprofen and paracetamol make a good combination), and take your first dose before the local anaesthetic has completely worn off.
If after a few days you experience increasing pain and swelling, you must return to The Implant Centre as soon as possible so that we can ensure you are not beginning to develop an infection.
If you have a denture that covers the surgical area please wear it as little as possible for the first week to protect the surgical site during its initial healing period. You should always leave the denture out at night.
The stitches are dissolvable but often remain for around 2-3 weeks, if they are uncomfortable or annoying, you may contact us to remove them.
Some minor bleeding after surgery in the mouth is normal. If this persists, apply pressure by biting firmly down over the area on a dampened gauze swab or clean handkerchief for 60 minutes whilst sitting upright. Do not keep checking or changing the gauze. You should contact us if bleeding persists for any reason after applying pressure in this way.
If you have been given a course of antibiotics to take after your surgery, please ensure that you complete the course.
Successful oral surgery depends on keeping the mouth as clean as possible.
Please start to use the mouthwash you have been given on the evening of your surgery and continue for 1 week. This is very important. You should gently bathe the surgical site by holding approximately 15ml over the site (the equivalent of half a cap-full) for at least 1 minute, 3 times a day, for 7 days.
You should also start cleaning your other teeth as normal with a toothbrush, starting on the evening of your surgery. Avoid brushing the surgical site for the first few days, but then begin to carefully clean this area with a toothbrush as well, once tenderness permits.
Hot salt mouthwashes (a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of salt) are very beneficial for healing in the first week but taste awful. Ensure that the mouthwash is not so hot that it scalds and then hold the hot mouthwash over the surgical site until it cools. Repeat as often as possible.
Try to keep food away from the surgical area for as long as possible. Rinse following eating to keep the area clean.
You are advised not to smoke until the wound has healed as this severely limits healing in the mouth.
We want your recovery to be as smooth and pleasant as possible. It is vital to follow these instructions very carefully. if you have any concerns or questions regarding your progress, please do not hesitate to contact us.
An out of hours contact number is always available on our answer phone.