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What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Removal

patient lying in chair looking at dentist

The after-effects of oral surgery, specifically after having your wisdom teeth removed, can quite minimal, so not all the instructions may apply in every case. We’ve put together a list of some common guidelines to what may be applicable for your personal situation following the removal of wisdom teeth. Our team is here to help; be sure to contact our office for any questions or clarifications.

The Day of Surgery

Exercise Care

Do not disturb the surgical area; make sure you follow the instructions we give you. DO NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE for at least 5 days, as this can be very detrimental to healing process and may cause a dry socket.

Intermittent bleeding or oozing may continue overnight but be aware that this is normal. You can control the bleeding by placing fresh gauze over the areas and biting on the gauze for 30-45 minutes at a time. Your bleeding should never be severe. If bleeding is heavier or persistent, check that your gauze packs are being clenched between teeth only, and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try re-positioning the gauze, if you are not having success in getting bleeding under control, please call our office.


Swelling in the mouth and cheek areas is not uncommon with oral surgery. You can minimize it by using a cold gel pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and apply it firmly to the lower cheeks (angle of jaw) adjacent to where you had oral surgery. This can be applied 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off during the first 12-24 hours after surgery.


Unfortunately, having your wisdom teeth removed can be painful, depending on how invasive the procedure was. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has completely worn off, you should be able to manage your discomfort better. Your anesthetic may last as long as 8 hours. If you feel any nausea while taking pain medication, a small amount of food will help minimize that. If you do not have adequate relief at first, you may supplement your pain pill with an analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen (avoid taking Tylenol or acetaminophen). The most severe pain is typically within 6 hours of the synesthetic wearing off. If you are in a lot of pain or your medicine doesn’t seem to be helping, give us a call.


Make sure you eat; you want to eat any nourishing food that can be eaten with comfort. Most people find soft or liquid foods best. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods. Ensure that you do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is best to avoid foods that may get lodged in the socket areas such as things like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc. As you feel better introduce more solid foods into the mix, the biggest thing is to stay properly nourished.

The first two days after having your wisdom teeth removed are generally the most uncomfortable. On the third day, you should be in less pain and discomfort. During the remainder of your post-operative course, you should be seeing gradual, steady improvement. If you are not seeing continued improvement, please call our office.

It is our goal that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will help you, but if you have questions or concerns about your progress, please contact our office.

Office Closure

Happy 4th of July From Southpoint Quality Dental!

Our offices will be closed on July 4th and 5th for Independence day.
We will be open as normal on Monday the 8th. Have a great weekend!