WE ARE OPEN during the provincial lockdown for all scopes of dentistry.
WE ARE OPEN during the provincial lockdown for all scopes of dentistry.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

After Wisdom Tooth Removal

The removal of impacted teeth is a significant surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. If these guidelines are followed carefully, complications such as unnecessary pain, infection, and inflammation can also be reduced.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and replaced as required.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing and/or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for a more thorough explanation.


Some bleeding is expected after surgery. Bleeding, urticaria, or some redness in the salivary glands are not uncommon. Rinse or wipe any old gums first, then apply a gauze pad to the area and massage vigorously for 30 minutes to stop excessive bleeding and repeat as necessary. If bleeding persists, steep cold black tea bags for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in black tea aids blood clotting by constricting blood vessels. To reduce the risk of further bleeding, avoid squats, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If the bleeding does not decrease, call our office for further instructions.


In general, the expected amount of inflammation is usually proportional to the type of surgery. Swelling of the face, cheeks, eyes, and parts of the face are not uncommon. This is how the body responds to surgery and eventual repair. Swelling will not appear until the day after surgery and will not peak until 2-3 days after surgery. However, immediate application of ice may reduce inflammation. Two bags filled with ice, or packed with ice, should be placed on the sides of the face where the surgery was performed. The ice pack should be heated for 20 minutes and then left to soak for 20. Instead of placing the cotton ball directly on the skin, place a damp paper towel or cloth over your skin and the ice pack between. After 36 hours, the ice is not benefiting. If the snoring or dysphagia persists for several days, there is nothing to be alarmed about. This is a common practice in surgery. Applying cold heat to the sides of the face thirty-six hours after surgery is beneficial in reducing inflammation.


After anesthesia or IV sedation, only fluids should be administered initially. Drink from a cup, don’t use a straw. Drinking water can clear the bleeding and cause further bleeding. You can swallow from the surgical site and eat something soft. A diet rich in nutrients and protein is very important. Our staff can provide suggested dietary guidelines. Nutrition should be taken regularly. Drinking water regularly should prevent dehydration. Your food intake will be minimal for the first few days. You have to compensate for this by increasing water levels. You should drink at least 5-6 glasses of water a day. Try not to miss a meal. If you eat regularly, you will feel better, have more energy, feel less discomfort and recover faster.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit up for one minute before standing.

Keep the mouth clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 2-3 times a day, especially after eating, with a teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of warm water.


In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to mild bruising. This is a common postoperative event that can occur 2-3 days after surgery. Cold heat applied to the area can quickly remove the discoloration.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office immediately. Call the office if you have any questions.

Nausea and Vomiting

If you experience nausea or vomiting after surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour, including prescription medications. Then you can drink coke, tea, or ginger. Drink slowly for fifteen minutes. Once the nausea subsides, you can start taking solid foods and prescribed medications. Anticonvulsants such as gravol may be necessary.

Other Complications

  • Numbness of the lips, gums, or tongue is not a shock. As reviewed in your discussion, this is often temporary. You should know that if your mouth or tongue is numb, you can bite it and not feel the sensation. Call Dr. Wojnarowicz if you have any questions.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You could get light headed from low blood sugar or medications. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute before getting up.
  • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots; they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Dr. Wojnarowicz.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as vaseline.
  • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will typically subside in 2-3 days.
  • Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.


Sutures are frequently placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Simply take out the suture from your mouth and throw it away. The sutures usually dissolve within a few days or may be removed approximately one week after surgery. No anesthesia or needles are required to remove the stitches. It only takes a minute or so, and this process is generally harmless.

Pain and swelling should subside significantly each day after surgery. If you experience any unusual pain or swelling or symptoms after your surgery, contact our office for instructions.

There will be a void where the tooth was removed. New tissue will slowly fill the void over the next month. Meanwhile, especially after eating, scrub the area with a salt water rinse or toothbrush. If applicable, you will be given a syringe to help with this.

Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle at the surgical sites.

A dry socket is when the blood clot becomes dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of increasing pain at the surgical site and even pain near the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.

If you engage in regular exercise, notice a decrease in your regular nutrient intake. Exercise can make you weak. If you are light-headed, stop exercising immediately.

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