East Village Dental Center in West Town Chicago.

Post Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and surgical extraction of teeth is quite different from the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  • The surgical area will swell.
  • Swelling peaks on the second or third day after the extraction.
  • Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may make it difficult to open your mouth for a period of days.
  • You may have a slight earache.
  • You may develop a sore throat.
  • Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
  • The corners of your mouth may be stretched out and become dried and cracked. Your lips should be kept moist with cream or ointment.
  • There will be a space where the tooth was removed. After 24 hours this area should be rinsed following meals with warm salt water until it is healed. This cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue.
  • Your temperature may elevate slightly for 24 to 48 hours. If this temperature elevation continues, notify us.
  • You might develop bruising in the area of the extraction.
  • Please take all prescriptions as directed.

Women please note:

Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.

To Control Bleeding

Immediately following the procedure, keep steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your surgeon. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently remove the compress after the local anesthesia has worn off and normal feeling has returned.

After 24 hours, some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, resume use of moist tea bags. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.

To Relieve Pain

Immediately following the procedure, begin taking medication as directed by your surgeon to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling is back to normal. Application of an ice bag can also help relieve discomfort. After 24 hours, continue to take your medication if pain persists, and use an ice bag if needed.

To Minimize Swelling

Immediately following procedure, apply an ice bag over the effected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours to help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort. If an ice bag is unavailable, simply fill a heavy plastic bag with crushed ice. Tie end securely and cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation.

After 24 hours, it should not be necessary to continue with cold applications. You may expect swelling for 10 days to two weeks and a fever of 99 to 100 degrees F.

Special Considerations Following Removal of Impacted Teeth:

  • Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure.
  • Postoperative problems are not unusual, and extra care must be taken to avoid complications.
  • Severity of postoperative pain will depend on the procedure and your physical condition. Take medication for pain precisely as directed.
  • Healing of the surgical site is variable.
  • Swelling can be expected. Be certain to apply ice bags as directed above.
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth widely and discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated.
  • Numbness of lips and/or tongue on the affected side may be experienced for a variable period of time.

Oral Hygiene is Important

Twenty-four hours after surgery, rinse your mouth gently with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing.
Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site. Resume your regular tooth brushing, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so you don’t loosen or remove the blood clot.

Maintain a Proper Diet

It is most important that you maintain a nutritious diet during the weeks of healing. The patient who maintains a good diet of soft foods generally feels better, has less discomfort, and heals faster.
The foods listed below are planned to provide the adequate vitamins and minerals. FOOD CONTAINING TOMATOES, ONIONS, PEPPERS, OR SPICES OF ANY KIND WILL BE IRRITATING AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED. Fruit juices may cause a burning sensation unless taken through a straw. However, do not use a straw the first 24 hours.

Breakfast

  • Milk, hot chocolate, Ovaltine, tea, coffee, instant breakfast, or protein drinks.
  • Fresh juice drank through a straw. Stewed fruits, prunes, or similar fruits should be well mashed.
  • Cooked cereals, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, grits with butter, or milk toast.

Lunch and Dinner

*A blender can be used to liquefy foods

  • Home cooked broth, bouillon, soups. Ground beef, soft broiled (broken in small pieces and mixed with whipped potatoes).
  • Baked or stewed fish (or fried fish with crust removed).
  • Broiled or stewed chicken (finely chopped) or fricassee.
  • Oyster stew, chicken noodles or dumplings, eggs as above.
  • Potatoes: baked, boiled, mashed, or whipped Asparagus, green peas, carrots, lima beans, or string beans (all mashed)
  • Cream cheese, cheese soufflé, canned pears, or baked apples
  • Puddings and Jell-O custards
  • Cottage cheese or yogurt (both good added nutrition!)
  • Bread should be softened with vegetable juice or milk
  • Fresh vegetable juices (may be obtained at health food stores)
  • Nutriment, Carnation Slender, Sego, or a protein drink three or four times daily, either added to meals or as in-between-meals snack.
  • If vitamins have been prescribed, take as directed. Vitamins E and B complex with C vitamins is a good idea, during the healing phase.

REMEMBER:

You may eat any soft foods that do not irritate. You may chew if it is not too uncomfortable to do so. You will probably lose parts of the dressing around the teeth as your ability to chew improves, but this should not bother you.

IMPORTANT:

A hungry person becomes irritable and nervous. It has been scientifically proven that a patient in this state is more susceptible to pain. The importance of a good diet cannot be over stressed, especially following surgery.

The antibiotics prescribed for you tend to alter the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt with active cultures during the post-surgical weeks will help restore balance and help make you feel better.

IN CASE OF PROBLEMS:

You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call us immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.

It is often advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing properly. A follow-up visit will be scheduled. In the meantime, maintain a healthy diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.

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