The removal of impacted wisdom 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.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. If excessive bleeding occurs, place direct gauze pressure over the site with firm finger pressure and hold for 30 straight minutes. Repeat this for at least 90 minutes until the bleeding stops. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the black tea helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call our office for further instructions.
The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. Peak swelling is typically seen by day 3 after surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs following your surgery as outlined above. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs, should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. Ice packs should be left on for 20-30 minutes and then removed for 20-30 minutes. Continue this cycle for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food for the first 12 hours. Pureed foods, luke-warm soups, and liquids are ideal for the first week after surgery.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you receive your prescriptions from the pharmacy. Take your pain medication as instructed by your oral surgeon. Over the counter advil and tyelnol may be used either together or alternating. Please be sure to read the maximum dosage limits on the respective bottle. Generally speaking, peak pain occurs within the first 72 hours. After 72 hours, pain should improve each subsequent day.
No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing with a teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of luke-warm water after each meal. If a prescription mouthwash was prescribed, you can use it after brushing your teeth for ~45seconds.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-5 days post-operatively.
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.
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour, including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea, or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.
Sutures are 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. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures will be removed approximately one week after surgery at the discretion of your surgeon . The removal of sutures requires no anesthesia or needles. It takes only a minute or so, and there is usually no discomfort associated with this procedure.
Your case is unique, no two mouths are alike. Discuss any problems with the trained experts best able to effectively help you: Drs. Kallis, Kojanis or Marrone or your family dentist.
A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain near the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.