Wisdom Tooth Extraction Post-Op

What to Expect After Removing Your Wisdom Teeth – Wisdom Tooth Extraction Post-Op Instructions

Discomfort is normal when extracting your wisdom teeth and will be at its greatest as soon as the anesthetic wears off. You should take the prescribed painkillers as soon as you feel the discomfort beginning. If you wait until it is severe, the painkillers will not be effective. Any severe discomfort will usually last from 2 to 3 hours after which you should expect some mild to moderate discomfort. This should last no more than 3 to 4 days and will diminish each day. An ice pack applied to the face is a good way to relieve pain. If pain increases after it has begun to decrease, this is an indication of a problem and you should call me.

Swelling will begin around 8 hours after the procedure and will be at its greatest at about 24 to 36 hours following the surgery. The swelling usually remains the same for around 2 to 3 days after which it decreases slowly. Using an ice pack 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 12 hours will help to reduce the amount of swelling that will appear. If the swelling increases after the second day, this may indicate the presence of an infection. If the swelling increases after it has already begun to decrease, this is also a sign of infection. If either happens, call me. 

Bleeding usually ends less than an hour after the surgery however it is not uncommon to find blood in your saliva for the next 24 hours. If bleeding from the wound persists for longer than 1 to 2 hours after the surgery, you should bite down on some gauze to put pressure on the surgical area. If bleeding persists at bedtime, you should sleep with your head elevated (2 pillows). 


  1. Don’t smoke for at least 4 days!
  2. Don’t rinse your mouth or use mouthwash for 24 hours!
  3. Don’t drink alcohol or hot beverages and don’t use a straw!

You can use your toothbrush but be careful not to disturb the surgical areas where the wisdom teeth were extracted. 

Eat foods that are nutritious but require minimal chewing. Don’t take the painkillers on an empty stomach or you may become very nauseous. Having a glass of milk first may be a good idea. Only take painkillers if you need them but you must take the antibiotics until they are finished. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. 

Alternate 500mg TYELNOL + 600mg IBUPROFEN (ADVIL) every 2 hours if necessary.

If your dentist has recommended that you extract your wisdom teeth, it may be beneficial to proceed with the extractions sooner rather then later.

Wisdom tooth extractions are a routine and relatively easy procedure. However, if you have any additional questions, concerns, or require more information about wisdom teeth extractions, call us at 416-742-2300.

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