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Wisdom Tooth Surgical Instructions

Following your wisdom tooth extraction at NuSmile Dental & Orthodontics, you will need to take some time to rest and allow your mouth to heal. Removing impacted teeth is a serious procedure, and certain steps are needed to prevent complications, infection, and unnecessary pain.

Immediately Following Surgery


Some bleeding is to be expected following a tooth extraction, and slight bleeding or oozing in the saliva is normal. You can treat excessive bleeding with rinsing and wiping old clots from your mouth, placing a gauze pad over the wound, and biting down for about 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, you can bite on a moist tea bag for 30 minutes. Remaining calm, sitting upright, and avoiding exercise can also reduce bleeding. Call our office if bleeding does not subside.


The amount of swelling depends on the extent of surgery. You may experience swelling around the lips, cheeks, and side of your face, usually the day after surgery. You can minimize swelling with ice packs, applying them to the treated side of your face continuously while you are awake. Do not be alarmed if you feel stiffness in the jaw for several days. You can apply moist heat to the face 36 hours after surgery.


Take 1-2 tablets of Tylenor or Extra Strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours for moderate pain. You can also take 2-4 tablets of 200mg Ibuprofen every 3-4 hours. If you experience severe pain, take prescribed tablets as directed. Do not drive or operate machinery during this time, and avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain and discomfort should subside after a few days—please contact our office if pain persists.


Following IV sedation or general anesthesia, you should only consume liquids and drink from a glass without a straw. Sucking on a straw can dislodge the blood clot. Eat high-calorie, high protein soft foods and chew away from the surgical site. Eat and drink regularly to remain nourished and hydrated. Though your food intake will be restricted for the first few days, you can compensate with 5-6 glasses of liquids. Do not miss a meal, as your body needs the strength to heal faster.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

During the first day, you should not rinse your mouth. You can brush your teeth that night very gently. The after the first day, you should rinse 5-6 times a day with warm saltwater, especially after a meal.


Discoloration of the skin often accompanies swelling due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This often occurs 2-3 after surgery. Moist heat can help reduce discoloration.


Take liquids as directed if you have been prescribed antibiotics for infection. Discontinue the anitbiotics if you develop an unfavorable reaction, such as a rash. Call NuSmile Dental & Orthodontics with any questions.

Nausea & Vomiting

If you experience nausea and vomiting after surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour, even prescribed medicine. Slowly sip coke, tea, or ginger ale for 15 minutes. You can take solid food and prescribed medicine when the nausea subsides.

Other Complications


Our dentist may place sutures in your mouth to allow healing and minimize bleeding. Resorbable sutures do not need to be removed afterward. If they become dislodges, simply remove and discard them. Non-resorbable sutures should be removed after a week with no need for needles of anesthesia.

There will be a cavity in the procedure site, but it will gradually disappear over the next month as new tissue grows. In the meantime, keep the area clean with saltwater rinses, especially after meals.

Your wisdom tooth situation is unique. Please discuss any questions or concerns with Dr. Lawrence Wu. Please call our office if you develop a dry socket—a condition in which the blood clot becomes permanently dislodged. You are welcome to call 408-266-2800 today to learn more about your wisdom teeth removal in San Jose, California.

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