Wisdom tooth removal is a fairly common procedure that thousands of Americans undergo each year. These teeth are the last in the adult mouth to come in, and there are two on each side of the mouth, two on the top and two on the bottom. Most of the time, these are removed in order to avoid infection and also keep other teeth out of harm’s way. This procedure is rather routine, but what should one expect to experience after undergoing a wisdom tooth removal procedure?
Immediately After the Surgery
Right after the surgery, most patients are usually still experiencing the effects of the anesthetic used during the procedure. Those who undergo intravenous anesthesia are required to have a responsible adult escort them to their appointment, remain with them in the office for the duration of the surgery, and drive them home. The patient must also be attended by a responsible adult for at least six hours after leaving the office. Bleeding from the removal areas is not uncommon following the surgery. Gauze will be placed in the mouth by the surgeon. This gauze needs to be changed every 30 minutes after the procedure. Most patients notice bleeding and have a requirement to use the gauze pack for 4 to 6 hours after leaving the office.
Touching or rinsing of the mouth is highly discouraged. Touching the areas where the teeth were removed may derail recovery. Recovery will take longer if the blood clots are dislodged, which can happen if they are disturbed. Touching may also cause bleeding and discomfort.
Medication is to be taken as prescribed following surgery. A certain level of discomfort is expected during recovery; however, the patient’s discomfort level can be effectively controlled by following the prescribed pain management plan.
Bleeding and Swelling
Bleeding and swelling are very common with this oral surgery procedure. A noticeable ooze of blood is normal during the first few days following surgery. Bleeding is minimized by changing gauze often to keep bleeding subdued, as well as handling your mouth with care. It is not advised for a patient to sit upright or lay all the way down after this surgery, as it may cause for the bleeding to start up again. Getting excited or agitated can also cause bleeding to occur. Strenuous activity can cause for pain or swelling to worsen, so it’s important to refrain from any exercise for the first three days following the procedure.
Swelling is normal in several areas of the face after wisdom teeth removal. The most common areas that swell are the sides of face and cheeks, the mouth, and under and around the eyes. Swelling typically occurs and is at its worst on the second or third day following the procedure. The application of ice packs during the 24 hours following surgery may reduce the amount of swelling, applying for one hour at a time, with a 15 minute break.
A patient’s diet should consist of only soft foods for a couple of days. For example, yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, etc. Drinks should be sipped from cups or glasses without straws, as the suction from the straw may also loosen the blood clots. Drinking a significant amount of fluids is encouraged to aid in the healing process.
If you or a family member is a candidate for wisdom teeth removal, don’t hesitate to contact Austin Oral Surgery. Our team of surgeons has been dedicated to providing superior, individualized oral health care to Central Texans for over 45 years and has extensive training in the removal. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call today!