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Q: What can I expect after the removal of impacted wisdom teeth or other minor oral surgery? What should I do after the surgery?

A: What to expect.

For about a week after minor oral surgery patients can expect the following:

  • A certain amount of swelling for up to about 4 days.

  • Pain and discomfort for about 3-5 days.

  • Difficulty in opening the mouth wide.

  • After about 5-7 days everything should be fine again and functions should be back to normal.

What to do after minor oral surgery.
After wisdom teeth removal, bone augmentation, implant placement or periodontal surgery patients should do the following:

  • Strictly use the medication as prescribed by your dentist or surgeon.

  • Keep ice packs over the area of surgery for as long as possible. At least the first 3-5 hours after surgery!

  • Rest for the remainder of the day after surgery. Don't try to be a hero just to regret it later!

  • Never rinse your mouth more than twice a day. Rinsing too often will remove the natural blood clot and leave the wound open to bacterial infection.

  • Never smoke after surgery! Try not to smoke for at least 10 days after surgery. Never again is even better! Smoking has a very negative effect on the healing process and can initiate severe infections.

  • Avoid coarse foods like whole wheat bread with seeds, muesli or grainy cereals. Seeds get stuck in a wound easily and may interfere with healing. Smooth and softer food is fine.

  • Discuss any homeopathic remedies with your dentist or surgeon before you use them. Some homeopathic substances have side effects that can influence post-operative healing.

When something goes wrong.
The following are symptoms that something is wrong with the healing process. Patients that experience any of these symptoms must contact their dentist or surgeon immediately and have the problems attended to.

  • Excessive bleeding occurring more than an hour or later after surgery. A bit of bloody saliva is normal after surgery and will stop after about 2 hours.

  • Increasing pain and swelling 3-5 days after surgery.

  • Foul smell and/or taste coming from the wound.

  • Redness and swelling over the surgery area outside the mouth, especially if this appears a few days after surgery.

  • Warm or heated skin over the surgery area.

  • Any itching or redness on the rest of the body. This might be due to allergies to the medication.

The symptoms described above indicate that infection is interfering with the healing process and need to be attended to by the dentist or surgeon who performed the surgery.

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