Wisdom Teeth Removal: What You Need to Know After Surgery

For most people, wisdom teeth start popping through the gums between 17 and 25 years old, although some lucky people don’t have wisdom teeth at all! Most people don’t have quite enough room in their mouths for wisdom teeth, and these four large teeth can cause a lot of pain and trouble if you don’t get them removed. Some people experience pain right away, but others don’t need the teeth removed until they’re older.

Wisdom tooth removal is considered a surgical procedure. While that may sound scary, your McAllen family dentist is here to minimize your pain during and after the procedure! 

What to Expect After a Wisdom Tooth Removal

If you’ve been put to sleep for the surgery and your surgical care team has woken you up, you may feel groggy and disoriented. That’s normal, and it’s why you’ll need to have a friend or family member there to drive you home! Even if you’re awake for the procedure, the after-effects are pretty similar. 

Bleeding from the site, swelling of the gums and face, and pain is to be expected. As soon as you feel pain, you can take the prescribed medication from your dentist or over-the-counter pain relievers, if recommended. But if you’re feeling nauseous, don’t eat, drink, or take medicine until nausea stops. There are a few common symptoms:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Sore throat
  • Jaw stiffness 

At Home: Wisdom Tooth Removal Follow-Up Care

After surgery, there are many ways to reduce the risk of infection, dry socket, pain, and swelling while at home! Follow these aftercare tips for a speedy recovery! Make sure to follow any specific instructions your dentist gives you.

Bleeding and Swelling

  • Remove the surgical gauze after 30 minutes.
  • Place a sterile gauze on the site and bite down to reduce bleeding.
  • Replace the gauze every few hours as needed.
  • Avoid touching the surgical site with your finger or tongue.
  • For the next 24 to 48 hours, use an ice pack on the outside of your face to reduce swelling.

Eating and Drinking

  • Drink about five to eight glasses of water for a few days.
  • Avoid smoking for at least three days.
  • Eat a soft diet like mashed potatoes, broth, Jell-O, and yogurt for three to five days.
  • Avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks for at least four days.
  • Don’t drink from a straw for two weeks.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brush and floss your teeth on the day of surgery, but avoid the surgical site for three days.
  • Don’t use regular mouthwash for two weeks.
  • Stop food from getting stuck in your extraction site by rinsing with warm water and salt. DO NOT do this on the first day. But for the next seven days after surgery, you can do this four to six times a day. 

When to Call Your Dentist

Since wisdom tooth removal is a surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection or dry socket. If you experience these symptoms, it’s time to call your dentist about a concern with an extraction

Symptoms of an Infection

  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Pus around the wound
  • High temperature

Symptoms of a Dry Socket

  • Throbbing pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Ear pain
  • Increased swelling

While the chances of getting a dry socket and infection are pretty low, they can still happen. So if you’re experiencing increased pain, excessive bleeding, or a rising temperature, call your McAllen general dentistry team for help! 

Wisdom Tooth Removal Follow-Up Appointments

Depending on the procedure and what kind of stitches were used, you may need to visit your dentist’s office one to two weeks after your appointment for a wisdom tooth removal follow-up. If dissolvable stitches were used, you might not need to follow up with the dentist.

Get Help at WhiteWing Dental!

Are your wisdom teeth causing you some discomfort? Or do you have questions about your symptoms after wisdom tooth removal? Our La Feria family dentist can help! 

Whether you’re in pain after or just anxious about the procedure, our compassionate team at WhiteWing Dental can help you through the entire process. Our sedation services can help you relax, and we’re here if you have questions after the fact!


Call WhiteWing Dental for post-surgery questions or a wisdom tooth extraction appointment today!