After Wisdom Tooth Removal

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

Gauze

Bite on the gauze for ONE hour to help you form a blood clot.  You may remove the gauze in one hour.  If you continue to experience active bleeding, put new gauze in your mouth and bite down continuously for another 30 minutes.  It is normal to have a pink tinge in your saliva for a few days.  The stitches in your mouth are resorbable and will fall out spontaneously in a few days to a few weeks.

Diet

After you remove the gauze in one hour, you can drink clear fluids such as water or apple juice.  Do NOT use straws for 24 hours.  After you have had clear liquids, you can have soft foods today.  Tomorrow, you can eat a regular diet, but avoid foods that leave particles in your sockets such as chips or crackers.  Part of the soreness you experience after surgery comes from having your mouth open and the muscles in your jaw stretched.  As every athlete knows, the best remedy for sore muscles is exercise.  Do not be afraid to chew.  Talking, eating, and chewing gum are good exercised for these muscles.

Swelling

Place ice packs on the outside of the face during the first 12 hours after surgery, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.  Avoid laying flat by elevating your head with some pillows.  Ice packs the first day will reduce the amount of swelling you will have later on.  When the swelling peaks on days 2 and 3, you can take Motrin/Advil/Ibuprofen every 6 hours, place warm packs several times a day, and keep your head elevated when lying down.  If may take a few days for the swelling to subside.

Smoking

Do not smoke for at least 7 days.

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Bleeding

Do not spit for 24 hours; this will create pressure on the clot and may induce fresh bleeding.

Pain

Dr. Kawahara may prescribe medication for you to take.  You may not feel discomfort at first because your mouth is still anesthetized from the surgery.  Before your numbness starts to wear off, you can take a dose of pain medication to stay ahead of the pain.  Thereafter, take the pain medication as needed.  You may have pain from a couple days to several days.  Motrin can be used either along with a narcotic or in place of a narcotic because it is an anti-inflammatory agent as well. 

Antibiotic

An antibiotic may also be prescribed.  It is very important to follow the directions and take the antibiotic until they are all gone.  At times these medication may cause slight nausea.  Eating before taking them may alleviate this problem.  If you experience any adverse reactions to the medications, please discontinue their use and call Dr. Kawahara immediately.

Antibiotics

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.

Brushing/Rinsing

Do NOT brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for 24 hours following surgery.  The following day, you may brush your teeth, but avoid the socket areas.  Keep the socket areas clean by rinsing with a solution of one-half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water five or six times a day for one week.  If applicable, avoid wearing retainers until the swelling subsides.

We will call you after your surgery to see how you are doing.  We will also see you one to two weeks after your surgery for a post-operative visit.  There is no charge for this visit.  The appointment time is written on your receipt.  We want to make sure you are healing well.  Please do not hesitate to call before your appointment if you have any questions or problems. You can reach Dr. Kawahara at Kawahara Oral Surgery Phone Number (310) 373-2238.