It's not a cause for alarm when your dentist tells you that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. It's a perfectly straightforward process, and your overall dental health will be greatly improved. Your other molars will not be crowded, and it removes the chance of developing impacted wisdom teeth, which is when the wisdom teeth don't quite make it all the way to the surface (which can be quite painful). But what can you expect when your wisdom teeth are removed? As minor as it is, it's still considered to be a surgical procedure, so you need to follow your dentist's instructions with regards to post-surgical care. So what are some of the things you need to be aware of when you're at home after having your wisdom teeth removed?

Gauze Pads

Your dentist might instruct you to softly bite down on gauze pads to soak up blood after your wisdom teeth have been removed, and they might even give you some to take home. Use only the gauze pads that have been suggested by your dentist. Don't attempt to substitute the gauze with a kitchen towel or toilet paper as it might break up into small pieces. You will then need to rinse your mouth, and this can easily dislodge the clots that have formed on the extraction site.

Discomfort and Bleeding

A bit of discomfort and bleeding is quite normal after your wisdom teeth have been removed (hence the gauze pads). Your dentist will be able to give you a realistic timeline with regards to how long this will last. If instead of subsiding, the discomfort and bleeding intensify, then you should see your dentist as soon as possible. Contact an emergency dentist if this happens outside of normal working hours. Please remember that such an occurrence is not likely, and it generally only happens when the clot does not form properly or has been dislodged.

Drinking and Smoking

It can be quite easy to dislodge your newly-formed clots, so you need to be careful. What do you need to look out for?

  • Drink liquids carefully, and do not slurp. The suction of a slurp can certainly loosen or dislodge a clot.
  • Speaking of suction, you also need to avoid drinking through a straw, and the same goes for smoking (even vaping). That suction is not your friend while your gums are healing.

Your dentist will be able to tell you when you can resume these activities.

Soft Foods

Do not eat excessively chewy foods while the site of extraction heals. The motion of your jaws can, once again, dislodge the clots. Soft foods are best in the days after your surgery. The site of extraction should heal normally (and it won't take too long), but it's important to do everything that you can to aid the healing process.