After Wisdom Tooth Removal Nampa

Patient Instructions Post Wisdom Tooth Removal

The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and complications such as infection and swelling can be minimized if these instructions are followed carefully.

For more information about After Wisdom Teeth Removal or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ballenger, call our offices in Nampa, ID at Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227 or Meridian ID at Meridian Office Phone Number 208-888-5177 or

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half-hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. Replace with new moistened gauze and apply pressure for another half hour. The gauze can be removed when bleeding has resolved.
  • Do not use straws for at least 72 hours.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing and/or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications before you begin to feel discomfort and before the anesthetic is worn off.
  • 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. Refer to the section on swelling for a more thorough explanation.
  • Softer, non-chewable foods are advised on the day of surgery.

If you feel you are having unusual pain or bleeding, call ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227 to speak to someone at the office.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by gently wiping any old clots from your mouth, and then placing a new, moistened gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in black tea helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call our office for further instructions.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face are not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling should 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. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs, should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs are best used by rotating from side to side 10-20 minutes at a time. After 24-36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling and loosening the stiffness of the jaw muscles.


For mild to moderate pain, take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), take 2-3 tablets every 4-6 hours. This is usually sufficient for most procedures.

For moderate to severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. With the pain that is not controlled by the prescribed medicine, you can take Ibuprofen between the doses of the prescribed medication. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.


After general anesthetic or IV sedation liquids should initially be consumed. Drink from a glass and do not use straws. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. Start with clear liquids if tolerated advance to full liquids like smoothies, milkshakes, etc.. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical sites. A high calorie, high protein intake is very important. Our staff can provide suggested diet instructions. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss any meals. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Do not eat hard crunchy foods until the wounds are completely healed.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit up for one minute before standing.

Don’t hesitate to call with concerns after your procedure. ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227

Keep the mouth clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day, especially after eating, with 1/3 teaspoon of salt mixed into one cup of warm water. Brushing and flossing is very important, be gentle around the wounds but be sure to keep your mouth as clean as possible to avoid infection.


In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. 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. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.


In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed but usually not on a routine basis. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office immediately. Call the office if you have any questions.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting can be common after anesthetics. It also can be caused by prescribed pain medications. In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, go back to clear liquids and begin taking the prescribed anti-nausea medication as directed. If it’s been more than 24 hours since your anesthetic it is most likely caused by the prescribed pain medication. Either stop taking the prescribed pain medication or reduce the amount. Be sure to keep hydrated with clear liquids.

Have any more questions or concerns on After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

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Other Complications

  • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As reviewed in your consultation, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You could get light headed from low blood sugar or medications. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute before getting up.
  • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots or tooth fragments; they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Dr. Ballenger.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as vaseline.
  • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days if it doesn’t or worsens call the office.
  • Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time. If it does not or worsens please call ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227.


If sutures have been placed try to not bother them. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures are dissolving unless otherwise indicated. They will dissolve in most cases within 7-10 days.

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur, call our office for instructions.

There will be a void where the tooth was removed. The void will fill in with new tissue gradually over the next month. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean, especially after meals, with salt water rinses or by irrigation. If a follow-up appointment was scheduled, this will be given to you at that time. Occasionally the syringe is given at the time of extraction with instructions to start using a week after. The syringe should be used to clear food from the surgical site until it has completely closed. This healing process could take several weeks or more.

Your case is unique, no two mouths are alike. Discuss any problems with the trained experts best able to effectively help you: Dr. Ballenger or his staff can assist you.

Brushing your teeth is okay and necessary – just be gentle at the surgical sites.

A dry socket is an abnormal healing process in the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain near the ear may occur 3-4 days following surgery. Call the office at ☎ Nampa Office Phone Number 208-467-1227 if this occurs.

If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.