As with any surgery, you will need some time to recover after wisdom tooth extraction. We will provide you with detailed instructions on how to take care of your mouth over the several days following your tooth extraction appointment. Being able to follow doctor’s post-extraction instructions carefully can mean the difference between speedy, problem-free recovery and additional, sometimes painful, complications. What you do in the first 24 hours is often crucial in terms of your total recovery time.
During wisdom teeth extraction recovery period, take whatever pain medicine we prescribe or recommend and definitely stick to the recommended dose. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Ibuprofen are often the ideal choice, although sometimes we may prescribe something stronger. Take the first dose before the numbness has worn off after the extraction. Do not take aspirin, as it may make your wisdom teeth extraction wound bleed.
In the First 24 Hours
- You can expect some oozing from the empty teeth sockets for about 24 hours following wisdom teeth removal. Minor bleeding may appear worse than it is, since blood may be mixed with a larger amount of saliva. If bleeding continues, place some gauze on the socket and bite on it for 20 minutes.
- Avoid hot drinks and take small sips when drinking fluids. Do not use a straw.
- Eat soft food in small mouthfuls. A liquid diet is not necessary, unless advised by dentist.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Do not rinse your mouth and avoid spitting.
- Take it easy and avoid strenuous exercise.
- It may help to prop your head up with an extra pillow when lying down.
- If swelling occurs, use ice packs placed on the face for 15 minutes at a time with 15 minute intervals may help reduce it.
After the First 24 Hours
- Continue eating soft foods as necessary.
- Rinse with salt water a few times a day to help keep the area clean and prevent infection.
- Chlorhexidine gel applied to extraction site may help healing by killing bacteria at the site.
- If stitches are placed, they may be of the type that will dissolve away over a week or two. Alternatively, you may need to return to have stitches removed.
- Pain and minor symptoms may last for a few days and even up to a week is normal. If you experience worsening pain after about two days, this may indicate a dry socket – a painful condition, when the tooth socket does not heal properly after extraction.
In 2 Weeks
The initial healing phase that closes up the socket usually takes 2-3 weeks. The surrounding bone can take 3- 6 months to completely settle into place. However, pain and swelling should be lessening by the second day. As the gum tightens up faster than the bone heals, you may feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue. Sometimes little pieces of bone may make their way out from the wound. This is a normal part of the healing process. Once wisdom teeth removal recovery is complete and the area has healed and settled, the original symptoms caused by impacted wisdom teeth will have gone. Your mouth will feel more comfortable and less crowded.
You do not need to be an established River Dentistry patient to get help with your wisdom teeth problems or just get evaluated. Our convenient Downtown Los Angeles dentist office is open till 7 PM on weekdays and till 4:00 PM on Saturdays. Just call our best-reviewed Downtown LA dentist office at 213-486-0006, email us at , or text us using our mobile app and provide as much detail as you can about your condition and we will see you the same or next day. You also can make a same-day appointment online using our appointment system.