Wisdom Teeth Removal

Swelling is expected after a tooth extraction. Swelling is a part of the natural healing process and may last several weeks. This is dependent on the nature and the extent of your surgery. Individuals with fair skin or those who bruise easily may anticipate some discoloration of the skin in the area surrounding the surgical procedure(s).

  1. ANESTHETICS -The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on your metabolism, the type and amount of anesthetic you received and the area of the mouth you were anesthetized. The numbness should subside within two to three hours. While it is numb, you'll want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. Stay away from any foods that require chewing until the numbness is gone. When drinking, do not use a straw. The sucking action that occurs when using a straw may loosen the blood clot and prevent proper healing.
  2. BLEEDING - Slight bleeding after surgery is not unusual. Your saliva may be tinged with blood for up to twenty-four (24) hours. Gauze should be left in place over the surgery site for at least two (2) hours maintaining firm biting pressure. A gauze pack will be placed over the site after surgery. Do not forcefully spit or irritate the surgery site. This may cause further bleeding. If bleeding persists, it may be controlled with pressure. Moisten a clean gauze and place directly over the extraction site. Apply moderate biting pressure for approximately ½ hour. Repeat if necessary.
  3. DISCOMFORT - It is not uncommon to have discomfort and pain for the first few days after surgery. Take pain medications as needed. The first day it is recommended to take medication even with minimal pain as it is easier to prevent pain than decrease it. Pain medications are most effective when taken before the local anesthesia diminishes and normal sensation returns. Do not take pain pills on an empty stomach. Narcotic pain medication such as codeine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone may cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, itching or constipation. If these side effects occur, discontinue the medication. You may take an alternative over the counter pain medication as necessary or call our office for assistance. Note: Narcotics (Vicodin) can be supplemented with Ibuprofen (~ 600 mg) or extra strength Tylenol (500 mg) if added pain relief is needed.
  4. SWELLING - After surgery, swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and side of face is very common. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Swelling usually will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your face over the surgery site for twenty (20) minutes on, twenty (20) minutes off for the first twenty-four (24) hours. Prepare several cold packs by putting damp washcloths in small zip lock freezer bags. These should be placed in your freezer for use following surgery. Poly-vinyl bags of frozen peas work well also.
  5. BRUISING - Bruising is also very common after surgery. Bruising can be present over the surgery site and to the lower chin area (possibly the neck area). The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively and last up to 14 days. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
  6. NAUSEA - Nausea may result from anesthesia medications or the drugs prescribed for pain. To minimize this possibility, avoid taking any medications on an empty stomach. Take all medications with a small amount of food. If you feel nauseated or sick to your stomach drink clear liquids such as Ginger Ale, 7UP, apple juice, broth or try eating toast and crackers.
  7. DIET - After surgery, drink lots of clear liquids and eat soft nutritious foods. This includes foods that are high in vitamins and protein (high protein drinks, mashed vegetables, yogurt, etc). Do not drink alcohol, carbonated beverages or hot liquids. Be cautious until the anesthesia wears off as you have no feeling in the surrounding area and may unknowingly injure yourself. Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, orange juice, and citrus fruits until the surgery site has healed (2 weeks). Do not drink through a straw for at least 48 hours. If you had surgery on only one side of your mouth, favor the other side while chewing for the first few days.
  8. ORAL HYGIENE - Hygiene should not be neglected as an accumulation of food and debris may promote inflammation and/or infection. You may rinse and brush your teeth starting the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as usual and rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 12oz of water) after each meal beginning gently the night of surgery. Do not brush the surgical area for 4 - 5 days. The chlorhexidine mouthrinse can also be started the following day after surgery. DO NOT apply pressure on the extraction sites with your tongue or fingers.
  9. ACTIVITY - Limit strenuous activity for the first 2 -3 days. This will reduce bleeding and minimize swelling. Strenuous work or exercise may promote bleeding.
  10. FEVER - After surgery it is normal for the body temperature to be slightly elevated for 24 hours. Please remember to drink sufficient amounts of clear liquids to keep your body hydrated. Please contact the office if there exists a high temperature or if a low-grade temperature persists after the first 24 hours.
  11. SMOKING/ALCOHOL - Smoking and alcohol delays healing and predisposes you to infection which can result in a dry socket. Do not smoke or use alcohol until the incision line is completely healed (> 2 weeks).
  12. SUTURES - Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures should dissolve on their own in approximately 3-14 days. If they are still present, we will remove them on your post-op appointment.
  13. MEDICATIONS - It is very important that you take all your medications from our office as prescribed. Each medication has a specific role in the post-operative period of your surgery. Discontinue the antibiotic medication if a rash develops or if an upset stomach persists. Report this immediately to our office. Women please note: If you are currently taking Birth Control Pills, be aware that taking antibiotics will decrease the effectiveness of the Birth Control Pills and alternative methods should be utilized. NEVER DISCONTINUE OR MODIFY ANY MEDICATION YOUR PHYSICIAN HAS PRESCRIBED FOR YOU UNLESS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR PHYSICIAN.
  14. UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS - If any unusual symptoms arise or if you have any questions, please feel free to call Dr. Andow anytime at 303.799.1525 (office), 720.482.9530 (home) or 303.908.4442 (mobile).

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The office will be closed from February 4th through February 8th. We will be back in the office on Tuesday, February 9th at 7:00 am.


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7:00 am-3:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-3:00 pm