After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Home Instructions After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Depending on the nature of the teeth and other factors, the healing period after the extraction of wisdom teeth may take 1-3 weeks. Normal conditions following surgery include significant soreness, tenderness, muscle stiffness, facial bruising, and/or swelling. If you feel that you are experiencing something abnormal or have any questions, please call our office immediately at Lakewood Office Phone Number 303.232.5637.


The removal of wisdom teeth is a genuinely surgical procedure. As such, some oozing or bleeding is normal for the first 24-36 hours after surgery. However, if there is active bleeding, place a folded moistened gauze pad over the area and bite down firmly for about 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, you may take an unused tea bag and likewise moisten it and leave it over the extraction site with firm pressure. You may need to repeat this process as necessary.

Note: If active bleeding continues, please call our office immediately at Lakewood Office Phone Number 303.232.5637.


Take prescription medications as directed. After the surgery, take 1 pain pill before the anesthetic wears off and try not to do so on an empty stomach. If you are taking prescription pain medication, DO NOT drive vehicles or operate machinery or engage in similar tasks that require concentrated thinking. If antibiotics are prescribed to you, be sure to take the medication as directed until it is ALL gone. Please realize that if you are taking antibiotics and birth control pills at the same time, alternative birth control methods are recommended.

Note: If you have any unusual reactions to the medications, please call our office at Lakewood Office Phone Number 303.232.5637.


Facial swelling is normal following surgery and will peak at approximately 2-3 days after surgery before beginning to gradually decrease. For the first 24 hours, apply an ice bag to your face on the side of the surgery for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. After the first 24 hours, apply a warm compress (a warm damp towel or heating pad). Keep your head elevated and avoid bending over and strenuous exercise for the first 72 hours. You may experience discoloration/bruising of the skin for several days following surgery. This is normal and will gradually disappear.


You may resume your normal brushing the night of the surgery but be very gentle near the surgical area and make sure you use a soft toothbrush. You can begin gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of lukewarm water) beginning the day after surgery. You can rinse your mouth up to 3 times a day but should not do it more often than this.

If you are given a plastic syringe to use at home, you will begin to use it to irrigate the lower extraction sockets after each meal starting on the 4th day after the surgery. You should fill the syringe with warm water and then pull back your cheek and direct the tip of the syringe over the top of the socket(s) (do not place the tip directly inside of them). You should gently flush the socket, swish the water in your mouth, then slowly spit it out. Repeat gently until no food debris comes out.


Please make sure you stay well hydrated (avoid caffeinated beverages) for the first 24 hours after surgery. Drink nourishing liquids and eat soft solid foods such as soup, yogurt, ice cream, jell-o, mashed potatoes, pudding, etc. for at least the first 3 days after surgery. You may return to your normal diet when you are able to tolerate chewing solid food.

Note: Do not use straws and do not spit vigorously for 2 days after the surgery. This may dislodge the blood clot prematurely or cause bleeding.


Avoid smoking for as long as possible after surgery. Smoking can dramatically slow down the healing process and significantly increase your chances of developing a dry socket.


If sutures were placed, they will dissolve and fall out on their own within 5-10 days after surgery. If they fall out earlier than this, it is ok and not a cause for concern.

Sharp Bony Edges / Dry Sockets

You may experience hard, sharp areas when you place your tongue on the surgical site. You may think it is part of your tooth that was left behind. This is the bony hard wall originally supporting your tooth and will begin to crumble and dissolve on its own or, occasionally, may need assistance from our office. A “Dry Socket” means the blood clot that should have formed in the extraction site has dissolved leaving an exposed bony area. If your pain is not being controlled by any medications, then you may be experiencing a dry socket. This can be treated by returning to the office to have a medicated dressing placed.

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