After Wisdom Tooth Removal

The removal of impacted “wisdom” teeth is a surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • Bleeding after removal of wisdom teeth can occur for 12-24 hours after surgery. Therefore, continue to bite down on a gauze pad or some other type of material, such as paper towels, or tea bags. Yes- tea bags; as it will slow down the bleeding.
  • Rinsing of the mouth that evening following surgery should be continue.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. However, a non-narcotic cannot also be used to control the pain from surgery.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed for a period of 12-24 hours. Dr. Lee will instruct the patient regarding swelling of the face and the use of ice packs to control the swelling that will develop and be present for 5-7 days.


Bleeding is to be expected following surgery, especially the removal of wisdom teeth. Cessation of bleeding may be terminated by biting on tea bags. Tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a blood clot. Heavy bleeding can rarely occur. Please call Dr. Lee for any issues of bleeding, especially heavy bleeding.


Swelling on the outside of the face is expected after any type of dental surgery and can last for 5-7 days. Swelling can be observed around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and wound repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days after surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the use of ice packs applied to the area of the face where surgery was performed.


Dr. Lee will prescribe a narcotic type of pain medication for the relief of pain. He will provide all instructions regarding the use of pain medication.


There are usually no eating or drinking restrictions after wisdom teeth are removed. Dr. Lee will provide specific eating and drinking instructions to each patient.

Keep the mouth clean

Excellent oral hygiene is emphasized after dental surgery, including the removal of wisdom teeth. Poor oral hygiene may lead to an infection after surgery. Therefore, brushing of the teeth and flossing are to be continued after surgery. To help keep the mouth clean, rinsing with any mouth rinse, and water is recommended.

Discoloration/Bruising of the Face

Discoloration, or bruising on the skin of the face and neck can occur following surgery to remove the wisdom teeth. Black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues, such as the muscles and skin. This is a normal occurrence and is observed 2-3 days after the surgery.


In many instances, Dr. Lee will prescribe antibiotics to the patient to either eliminate an existing infection, or to avoid an infection after surgery. He will specifically address each case and make recommendations of antibiotic therapy based on the surgery, the patient’s medical history and condition of the patient.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and/or vomiting following surgery to remove wisdom teeth may occur. This could be due to swallowing blood, or the side effects of narcotic pain medication. In some instances, use of antibiotics may also lead to nausea and vomiting. If any issues regarding nausea and vomiting, please inform Dr. Lee.

Other Observations After Surgery

  • Numbness of the lips, chin, or tongue can occur. Prior to surgery, Dr. Lee will discuss the issue, as it involves specific nerves of the jaw bones and the face.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office.