Sometimes wisdom teeth take up too much room within the mouth. If there isn’t enough room when the wisdom teeth come in, the wisdom teeth will push against the other teeth and can cause quite a bit of pain. In this case, the wisdom teeth will need to be extracted. This process can also be painful and requires special care and concern afterward in order to make sure the patient avoids infection.
The Gauze Pad - After the surgery, the patient will notice that a gauze pad is in place over the extraction points. These pads should be kept in place for at least half an hour, but may be kept in place longer if need be. When the bleeding has slowed or stopped completely from the extraction points, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. If the bleeding does not stop, the gauze pad should be swapped out for fresh pads until the pads are removed completely and discarded. Avoid vigorously washing the mouth out or touching the sore areas. The patient will be sent home and should use ice packs on the outside of the jaw where the teeth were extracted to help reduce swelling.
Medication - Most patients are prescribed a few days' worth of pain medication following the removal of wisdom teeth. This is usually Hydrocodone or Vicodin. Take the medication as prescribed by the dental surgeon. The medication should help with the pain and the patient will most likely experience bouts of extreme sleepiness for the first couple of days following the surgery. The patient should sleep whenever she feels tired and should avoid too much activity.
Bleeding and Infection - A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgery. Biting down on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes can help with excessive bleeding. The tea bags contain tannic acid, which can help the blood form a clot and can stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, call the surgeon. Excessive bleeding may be a sign of an infection called dry socket, which can be fixed with medication at the clinic where the procedure was performed. Swelling is normal and should be expected. Most swelling following a wisdom tooth extraction is not anything to be concerned about.