Oral Surgery » What to expect after surgery
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGICAL EXTRACTION
Recovery after wisdom-tooth surgery is generally quite straightforward, but you are likely to experience pain and swelling, particularly in the first 2 days. Rarely, complications can occur, such as poor healing of the tooth socket or nerve injury.
Will I be in pain?
It is likely that there will be some discomfort and swelling both on the inside and outside of your mouth after extraction/surgery. This is usually worse for the first three days but it can take up to two weeks before all the soreness disappears.
You may need to control the pain with tablets. If these have not been prescribed, you can use pain killers you would normally use if you had a headache. Follow the dosage recommended on the packet. If antibiotics have been prescribed, please ensure you finish the course.
What about bleeding?
When you have any teeth removed you are left with a hole (tooth socket) in your jawbone. At first a blood clot forms, before healing over completely.
If bleeding occurs when you go home, apply pressure on the tooth socket with a clean, damp rolled piece of cotton/linen handkerchief. Try this for the first 10 to 20 minutes. If bleeding does not stop, please telephone the surgery.
If the surgery is closed call the emergency dentist telephone number on 02035940938 or 111 and keep biting on the handkerchief until you have spoken to or seen the dentist.
Can I eat or drink after treatment?
Try not to eat or drink if possible until after the numbness has worn off. It is advisable to eat on the opposite side of your mouth to the extraction site. For the first 12 hours (after the numbness has worn off) avoid hot drinks (which can break down the clot). Take only warm liquids or soft foods.
Can I smoke or drink alcohol?
It is advisable not to smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Smoking can prevent healing and cause bleeding to start.
What do I need to do at home?
When you have had a tooth out you must look after the area to speed healing and to reduce the risk of infection. It is important to keep the extraction site as clean as possible for the first few weeks after surgery. It might be difficult to clean your teeth around the sites of the extraction because it is sore.
The day after your extraction you can start using a warm salt water bath to help reduce the risk of infection. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, hold a mouthful in your mouth for about 30 seconds so that the solution floods to the extraction site, then spit it out and continue in the same way until you have used the entire cup. You can do this after every meal or two to three times a day. Keep using the salt water until the extraction socket has healed. Do not use mouthwash as this may harm newly growing cells.
Will I have any problems?
It is uncommon to get an infection, particularly if good oral hygiene is maintained after surgery. If you are worried about infection, the signs would be a raised temperature, a nasty taste in the mouth, increased pain and severe swelling around the extraction site.
If you experience any of these, it is important to contact us as soon as possible.