7 Dos and Don’ts after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Oral surgery and teeth extraction today have become facile, and there are a couple of reasons why going to the dentist’s office and removing teeth becomes obligatory. So today, we will talk about the dos and don’ts after wisdom tooth extraction as wisdom teeth extraction1 has become one of the essences for most adults. 

But first, let’s start with a little detail.

Dos And Don'ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash Copyrights 2020

1. What Is Wisdom Teeth, Wisdom Teeth Extraction, and Why Is It Done?

1.1. Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the molars located at the very back of our mouth, both upper and lower. They are typically seen in our late teens or early twenties, around 17 to 21. Wisdom teeth are, in general, a strong and valuable gift for our mouth as they are substantial and the widest teeth that can grind foods easily.

1.2. Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth extraction follows the procedure of removal of the wisdom teeth. It is a serious oral surgery that comes with many drawbacks if the procedure and surgery go wrong.

But teeth extraction today becomes easier if you can get to the office of the best dentist or oral surgeon. They will make wisdom tooth removal trouble-free using the least invasive techniques possible to cut down the pain later and for your safety and comfort.

1.3. Why Is It Done?

Sometimes the wisdom teeth need to be extracted mostly because of poor alignment. The impacted molars don’t get enough space to grow, and thus they can cause discomfort. If the wisdom teeth are not removed on time, they can destroy other teeth nearby. Other reasons for wisdom teeth removal are cavities, infections, lesions, etc.

The dentist’s recommendation is to take precautions and remove the wisdom tooth as soon as possible if it does not get any space to grow inside one’s jaw. An impacted wisdom tooth is hard to clean, giving birth to bacteria, plaque formation, and infections.

Dos And Don'ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels Copyrights 2020

Although dental surgery is frightening for most people, impacted wisdom teeth should not be left unchecked. It can cause serious complications for young adults, and older adults may face complications during surgery or post-surgery.

2. Dos and Don’ts after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Below are the dos and don’ts after wisdom teeth extraction, which you must follow strictly as it will help you heal and recover.

2.1. The Dos:

  • Elevate your head. Elevating your head from time to time will prune the swelling that happens after tooth extractions.
  • Brush your teeth with care for the first 24-48 hours post-surgery. Brush carefully so that the bristles or the upper part of the brush do not touch the tooth extraction zone, or else it may bring consequences.
  • Keeping your mouth clean is the first and foremost thing. Clean by gargling with salt water. Follow the procedure as saltwater will draw out bacteria without causing any harm to the wisdom teeth extraction area. The coolness of the ice pack also will reduce the pain. 
  • To shrink the swelling, use an ice pack for the first 24-48 hours after extraction of the tooth. Keep applying ice packs for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for 1-2 hour time periods.
  • Bite on the cotton gauze pad, which the dentist will pack into the socket to stop the bleeding from the extraction site. Keep changing gauze pads according to necessities as the bleeding continues for quite a time, for 4 hours or so.
  •  Eat liquid and soft food like mashed potatoes, yogurts, and soups, for a couple of days till the wisdom tooth extraction site is healed partially. Strictly skip solid foods or foods that will require excessive movement of the mouth and use of teeth. Staying on a liquid and soft food diet will save you from pain.
  • Jaw exercises are helpful as they will help in reducing stiffness. Slowly open and close your mouth and perform the exercises, not immediately after the oral surgery but after 1-2 hours or after the first 24 hours, whenever the pain is minimal.
Dos And Don'ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

2.2. The Don’ts:

  • Avoid solid foods for at least a week. Abstain from consuming spicy foods, sodas, and hot drinks too for your safety and comfort.
  • Don’t use ice packs after the first 48 hours post-surgery of your wisdom tooth2. Use hot water in the extraction area to promote healing and give you some relief from the pain.
  • Strictly avoid using straws. Don’t suck, spit, smoke, or drink alcohol, or any other beverages except water. Sucking can dislodge the blood clot. If the blood clot becomes dislodged and forms over the wisdom teeth extraction area, you may experience more bleeding, which will result in tremendous pain later and dry sockets. This may also dislodge the blood clot formed over the wisdom tooth extraction area.
  • Rinsing with salt water is beneficial but don’t rinse your mouth too vigorously. Rinsing off every 2 hours will be helpful and is recommended, but do as per your comfort.
  •  Avoid immediate eating, drinking, or talking post-surgery. Elevate your head and rest your jaw as much as you can. It may delay the process of healing or even can result in bleeding and a dry socket.
  •  Don’t poke into the gap created post-surgery with your finger or tongue. Don’t even poke into the gap with toothpicks to take out food remains.
  •  Remember not to take aspirin as it is a blood thinner that will lower the rate of clot formation.
Dos And Don'ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Image by Reto Gerber from Pixabay Copyrights 2016

3. Things to Remember after Wisdom Teeth Extraction

After wisdom tooth extraction, some of the dos and don’ts must be followed to avoid swelling and hindrance in clot formation. Take proper precautions and let it heal properly, as precautions are better than cures.

Short-term oral issues can be dry sockets, swelling, excessive bleeding, and other oral problems. Therefore, an experienced dentist or dental surgeon must carry out a wisdom teeth extraction procedure to avoid many dental complications. The minimally invasive techniques possible shall save you from discomfort following dental surgery.

After a successful wisdom teeth extraction, don’t forget to stick to the dos and don’ts.

The following are the things to remember after wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Drink water sufficiently as it is very important.
  • Mildly hot water is recommended.
  • Rinse your mouth whenever needed.
  • Remain on a diet of mashed potatoes, yogurts, milkshakes, and other fluids and soft foods for at least a while, as long as the dentist has prescribed.
  • Take your pain medication from time to time.
  • The first 48 hours can be distressing and uncomfortable, but slowly it will become normal.
  • To avoid swelling, use an ice pack and then hot water for at least a week.
  • Call your dentist and give an immediate visit to the dental office if bleeding continues after 24 hours or if you face any other oral or dental repercussions.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

4.1. What are the side effects of removing wisdom teeth?

There can be short-term oral issues, for example, dry sockets, swelling, excessive bleeding, and other oral problems.

4.2. Can I brush my teeth after wisdom teeth removal?

Do not brush your teeth immediately after the surgery or on the day of surgery. However, you can start brushing your teeth normally the next day.

4.3. Is wisdom teeth extraction a major surgery?

Yes, wisdom teeth extraction is considered major surgery.

4.4. What should not eat after the surgery?

Avoid solid foods for at least a week. Abstain from consuming spicy foods, sodas, and hot drinks too for your safety and comfort.

Infographic That Explains Top 5 Reasons People Avoid Dental Visits
Icy Health

  1. Dodson, Thomas B., and Srinivas M. Susarla. “Impacted wisdom teeth.” BMJ clinical evidence 2014 (2014). ↩︎
  2. Nourwali, Ibrahim. “The effects of platelet-rich fibrin on post-surgical complications following removal of impacted wisdom teeth: A pilot study.” Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences 16.4 (2021): 521-528. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Pratyusha Biswas

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