Commonly Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth Extraction Aftercare

Commonly Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth Extraction Aftercare from Smiles Dental Care in Mountain View, CAPeople often have wisdom teeth extraction performed when these teeth come in behind the second molars of the upper and lower jaw. Wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17-25 and may crowd the other teeth, causing pain and possibly changing the bite of the teeth. Those who undergo an extraction often have questions about how to properly care for the empty sockets afterward.

What can be expected of the recovery process? 

After the extraction of a wisdom tooth, the recovery process can vary from person to person, depending on the difficulty of the extraction and recuperative ability. Other factors may impact the recovery time, including: 

  • The removal of crooked or impacted wisdom teeth 
  • The rest patients allow themselves 
  • How well patients follow aftercare instructions 

Individuals who undergo wisdom teeth extraction usually receive a list of actions they should and should not do. However, these patients may have additional questions related to the instructions and wonder which actions could help them heal more quickly. 

What may cause renewed bleeding? 

After surgery, patients generally have to hold a section of gauze in place where the empty sockets now sit. This may take several hours. After a clot forms, the gauze can be removed carefully, but the holes must be treated with care to prevent renewed bleeding. Heavy exercise, smoking, and eating anything but soft foods may dislodge the clot or stitches, so review the list of approved activities and foods offered by the dentist immediately after returning home to prevent bleeding problems. 

How many days are required to heal? 

Unless the extraction was especially difficult, most patients usually recover within three to four days. Recovery may occur more quickly with adequate rest and proper care of the empty sockets. Returning to work may depend on how strenuous a patient's job is, such as whether any heavy lifting is required. Patients with labor-intensive jobs, like those in construction, may want to take an extra day or two to ensure a complete recovery. 

Are complications possible? 

After a wisdom teeth extraction, complications are unlikely to arise when patients follow aftercare instructions. Patients who experience terrible pain, extreme swelling, numbness, or excessive bleeding that does not stop with the pressure of a gauze pad may return to the dentist's office to have the extraction areas examined for infection. A sudden fever can also indicate such an infection, along with leakage of pus from the extraction areas. 

What is a dry socket? 

A dry socket occurs when patients dislodge the blood clot that forms over the extraction area and leaves it open. When this occurs, the likelihood of infection and pain increases. Cleaning the areas gently can prevent this from happening. 

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Mountain View, CA


Wisdom teeth extraction can relieve the pain of crowded teeth or a moderate impaction. While the recovery time varies from person to person, careful treatment of the surgery area, along with following the dentist's instructions for aftercare, helps ensure a quick and uncomplicated recovery. 

Request an appointment or call Smiles Dental Care at 650-563-1180 for an appointment in our Mountain View office.

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