Wisdom Tooth Removal

Some teeth are imbedded or positioned in the jaw in such a way that bone surgery is necessary for their removal.  This is especially true of wisdom teeth.  The removal of such teeth is quite different than the extraction of erupted teeth.  The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  • The surgical area may swell and make opening your mouth difficult.
  • Numbness around the corner of the mouth, on the side of the surgical area, may develop.  This is generally a temporary condition which will eventually heal itself.  This may persist for a few days to possibly several months.
  • There will be a slight elevation of temperature post-operatively for 24 to 48 hours.  If this continues, please notify the office.
  • If during surgery the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack.  Your lips should be kept moist with a cream or ointment such as Vaseline, Blistex or Carmex.
  • There will be a cavity or hole at the extraction site, but this will eventually fill in with new tissue.
  • Bruising may occur on the outside of the face in the surgical areas.  This is not unusual and will disappear within several days.
  • You may experience a slight earache or your other teeth may ache temporarily.

Medications

Take your medications as instructed.  Make sure you do not take medication on an empty stomach as this will likely cause nausea, possibly vomiting.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgical procedure.  Blood-tinged saliva may occur for approximately 36 hours.  The initial bleeding is controlled by changing gauze packs every 30 minutes until the bleeding dissipates.  Press the gauze onto the extraction site with a constant biting pressure.  If bleeding continues, hold a dampened tea bag over the site with a biting pressure for 30 minutes.  Change the gauze two or three times.  If bleeding persists, phone our office immediately.

Limit Your Activity

Stimulation of blood circulation can cause prolonged bleeding, therefore:

**A SEMI-RECLINING POSITION AND REST FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS IS RECOMMENDED**

DURING THE FIRST 48 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY DO NOT:

  • SMOKE
  • USE A STRAW
  • DRINK CARBONATED OR HIGHLY ACIDIC BEVERAGES
  • FORCEABLY SPIT ANYTHING FROM THE MOUTH
  • ENGAGE IN EXCESSIVE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SUCH AS BENDING, LIFTING HEAVY OBJECTS, CLIMBING STAIRS, ETC.

Do Not Disturb the Surgical Area

The greyish or yellowish appearance of the surgical site or a slight odor does not necessarily indicate the presence of infection.  Make the effort to keep your tongue, fingers, toothpicks, or any other matter away from the surgical site.

Rinsing

After the first 24 hours it is important to keep the surgical area free from food debris.  It is important to use a warm salt water rinse, using ½ teaspoon of salt to an 8 ounce glass of warm water.  Start rinses 24 hours after surgery.  Continue these rinses 4 to 6 times per day, especially after meals and before bedtime.  DO NOT use any commercial mouthwashes.  It is advisable to resume daily oral hygiene by brushing your teeth gently.  It is important to continue the salt water rinses until your suture removal, or check-up appointment, which is usually scheduled approximately two weeks after surgery.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REGIMEN OF YOUR POST-OPERATIVE CARE.

Swelling

To help minimize the initial post-operative swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of the face in the surgical area.  Apply the ice pack for 20 minutes and then remove for 20 minutes.  Continue this for the first 24 hours.  AFTER 24 HOURS, apply a damp warm compress or heating pad to the outside of the face in the surgical area.  It is important to note that the swelling and pain will peak on the third post-operative day.

Diet

It is important to maintain a good diet post-operatively.  FIRST DAY:  Avoid use of straws, carbonated beverages and acidic liquid or food.  You may have cold liquid to soft foods such as ice cream, jello, yogurt, puddings, or cottage cheese.  SECOND DAY:  You may introduce warm soft foods such as pastas, soups, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or oatmeal to your diet.  THIRD DAY:  You may resume your normal diet, as tolerated, avoiding such foods as potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts or any other sharp-edged, crunchy foods that may cause injury to the surgical site.

Bone Fragments

During the healing process, small sharp bone fragments may surface to the gum in the surgical area.  In most cases these will work themselves out.  However, if they are causing irritation or pain, please call the office so the doctor can advise and/or treat you.

Pain and Swelling

If pain or swelling occurs after the surgical site has apparently healed, please call the office.

Do not hesitate to contact our office if there are any questions as to your progress and/or recovery.
South County Office St. Louis Office Phone Number (314) 842-4699
Festus Office Festus Office Phone Number (636) 931-4699
**After Hours Medical Exchange 314-388-5260**
For emergency care after office hours, call the Medical Exchange and the doctor will promptly get back in touch with you.

Because of new Federal DEA regulations, some medications which were previously refillable now require a new handwritten controlled prescription.  These can only be obtained in person during regular office hours.  If you require changes or refills to these medications, they must be handled in person during regular office hours.