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Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be a serious surgical procedure. Taking care of yourself after your operation is important. This can help you avoid unnecessary pain and complications as well as avoid the risk of infections and swelling. All of this can be minimized if you carefully follow the post-op instructions that your doctor gave you.

Immediately after your surgery, you should keep the gauze pad on your surgical site in place for a half-hour. After this, remove it and throw it away. Try to avoid rinsing or touching your wound area after surgery. This can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot that has formed. If you start to feel discomfort, then you should take your prescribed pain medications. It’s also important to restrict your activities during the day of your surgery and carry on with your normal activities when you feel the most comfortable. Place ice packs on your face where your surgery was performed.


Having a certain amount of bleeding is expected after your surgery. Having slight bleeding, oozing or redness in your saliva is not abnormal. Excessive bleeding can be helped by first rinsing or wiping old clots from your mouth, then putting a gauze pad on top of the area and biting firmly for half an hour. Then you can repeat this step if necessary. To stop the bleeding, the pressure from the gauze will need to be placed directly on the surgical area. Chewing on gauze can stimulate saliva production in the mouth, and this can increase the risk of more bleeding, and injury to other parts of the mouth.


Swelling in the mouth, cheeks, eyes and side of the face is normal after your surgery. Swelling and mild bruising should be expected and is typically proportional to the surgery. This is your body’s natural reaction to surgery and it will eventually repair itself and go away. In most cases, the swelling will not occur until the day following surgery and it won’t reach its maximum until two or three days post-op.

Swelling can be minimized using ice packs on the side of the face that had the surgery. If you experience jaw stiffness that has occurred for several days, there is no reason to be alarmed as this can be a normal reaction to surgery.


For any symptoms of severe pain, take any prescribed medication tablets as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. This prescribed pain medicine can make you feel groggy and slow down your normal reflex speed. You shouldn’t drive a vehicle or work with heavy machinery when you are taking your pain medication and you also need to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.

Pain or discomfort after surgery is typically the worst 24 to 48 hours after your surgery. After this, it should go away more and more each day. If the pain continues or gets worse, you might need medical attention and get into contact with your dentist as soon as possible to get further instruction.