We will keep you comfortable as you heal, but please keep in mind that extensive oral surgery such as wisdom teeth removal can be a challenging recuperation. The experience varies greatly among individual patients so it may not be applicable to compare your experience with someone else’s. As your comfort improves, taper off the prescription medication first and the ibuprofen last. The discomfort may not peak for 3 to 4 days after the surgery. Worsening pain that radiates into the sides of the face and head is often due to spasm of the jaw muscles, especially for patients who clench or grind their teeth, and is often worst when awakening. Treat muscle pain by applying moist heat for 10 minutes followed by massaging the areas for 10 minutes several times a day.
Gauze packs were placed in your mouth at the surgical site to provide gentle pressure over the wounds. Replace these packs with fresh ones every 30 to 45 minutes, or until the bleeding has completely stopped. It is quite normal to notice occasional bleeding or blood-tinged saliva many days after the surgery. If bleeding seems to be persistent, don’t spit the blood out, but continue changing the gauze and keeping pressure on the wounds. For problem bleeding, clotting can be improved by dipping the gauze in ice water or inserting a tea bag inside the gauze. Keep your head elevated. During the first 24 hours, avoid drinking through a straw, spitting, rinsing vigorously, or consuming hot foods or liquids. Remove the gauze to eat, drink and sleep.
Fever, Swelling, Bruising, and Sutures:
A low-grade fever (up to 101 F) sometimes occurs for a couple of days after surgery. Swelling in the face usually peaks on the second or third day after the surgery, and then resolves over the next few days. Placing ice over the surgery site helps, but ice should only be used on the first day. You may notice some bruising on your face or neck for several days. The sutures usually loosen and dissolve in 5-7 days.
Diet and Oral Hygiene:
For the first 24 hours, limit your diet to liquids and soft foods. Take in plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. After 24 hours, you may eat whatever your comfort permits, but soft foods are a good idea for up to a week. After 24 hours, rinse frequently with warm water; if you were given an irrigating syringe, begin using it to vigorously irrigate the sockets after meals. It is normal to notice an odor or taste emanating from a tooth socket for 2-3 weeks after the procedure. Start brushing the teeth surrounding the surgical site with a soft toothbrush a few days after the surgery. If you have a new prosthesis, try to keep it in place for the first night, and then remove it at night thereafter, leave it out if it hurts to wear it. If your surgery included bone or gum tissue grafting, do not drink hot liquids for 2 weeks, and do not irrigate grafted areas until instructed to do so by Dr. Stout or Dr. Nelson.
Nausea can be a side effect from the sedation medicine, prescription narcotics, dehydration, or from swallowing a little blood. Nausea usually fades away without treatment, but persistent nausea can be treated with non-prescription travel sickness medication (Dramamine or Bonine). If your pain is mild, discontinue the prescription narcotic (the most likely cause) and use only a non-narcotic medication such as Advil, Motrin, or Aleve. If your nausea is severe enough to prevent you from holding anything down, then a prescription medication is available.
"It's an amazing level of care... Dr. Stout even called me the evening of the surgery to see how I was recuperating."
- Luis O.,
"Doctor Stout's secretary found a way to get my insurance to pay for treatment instead of me. That was a pleasant surprise."