Wisdom tooth removal is a right of passage that many teens and young adults must go through, though it isn’t the most fun transition into adulthood. In fact, many people dread wisdom tooth extractions, partly due to the anesthesia, and partially because of the recovery period. We’ll be the first to say that wisdom tooth removal isn’t always a walk in the park, but there are many things you can do to help speed up your recovery post-surgery.

At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, our oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth extractions and provide patients with all the materials they need for wisdom tooth removal aftercare. Here are a few aftercare tips to ensure a speedy recovery after your wisdom tooth removal:



When you come out of wisdom tooth surgery, it is completely normal to experience some bleeding for the next few hours. However, you may still be in a state of confusion until the anesthesia completely wears off, so make sure not to mess with the gauze. You also won’t be able to drive, so arrange for a friend or family member to transport you to and from your appointment. They’ll know to watch and make sure you don’t fuss with the gauze, as well as what to do if the bleeding gets worse.

Bleeding tends to worsen if the patient chews on the gauze in their mouth, and this also increases the risk of injury to the numb areas of the mouth. To avoid excessive bleeding, refrain from chewing on the gauze or exploring the surgical site with your tongue. If bleeding becomes worse, switch out the gauze and bite down on it for half an hour. Exercise or excessive movement also stimulates blood flow, so these activities should be avoided for several days.


It is also very important to drink lots of water after you come out of anesthesia because you are likely to be dehydrated and feel dizzy. Patients are prohibited from eating or drinking any liquids eight hours before their wisdom tooth extraction, as nausea and vomiting are two common side effects of general anesthesia as well as many of the pain medications that are prescribed post-surgery. If you feel nauseous or dizzy, sip on some ginger ale, soda, or tea, and avoid drinking out of a straw — this can cause blood clots to be dislodged, creating the dreaded wisdom tooth dry sockets.


Another thing to be wary of is that the pain following wisdom tooth removals can creep up on patients, hitting them suddenly when the anesthesia wears off. To avoid this, our dentists recommend picking up your pain medication from the pharmacy on your way home from our dental clinic. That way, you can take a pill and settle into your couch or bed before you feel any discomfort. Antibiotics are also prescribed to prevent wisdom tooth infections, which can be very painful and unpleasant. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed on the label and be sure to finish out the medication.


Wondering what tips we have for the days following your wisdom tooth extraction? Continue to part two of this blog series, or contact Trillium Dental to schedule your wisdom tooth removal in Ottawa!