After Wisdom Tooth Removal: One Week and Beyond

Once third molar (wisdom) teeth are removed it will take 6-8 weeks for the gum tissue to completely heal (or longer depending on your age and degree of impaction of the removed tooth/teeth).  Initially, it is normal to have a gap or opening in the gums.  This will close as the area heals.  Although you may be feeling fine, the sites will require care to ensure good healing.


You have been given irrigation syringes to flush the healing sockets with water after meals.  This is to be started NO SOONER that 7 days after your extraction(s) unless advised to do so sooner by Drs. Yamada and Zeidan.  If irrigation is done prematurely, a “dry socket” condition could develop.  Cleaning the sockets must be performed otherwise food debris will get stuck in the socket(s) which will lead to an infection.  This would then require a procedure to re-open the infected socket and clean it out.  The lower sites should be irrigated using 2-3 syringes of water with a gentle to moderate flushing pressure.  The upper sites only need to be irrigated as necessary.


The healing gum tissue remains soft for up to 6-8 weeks, therefore no hard, sharp, crunchy or crispy foods should be eaten during this time.  Examples include tortilla chips, popcorn, tacos with hard shells and nuts.  These foods may poke into the soft gums and become embedded (like a splinter) which would lead to an infection and requires removal.


It is safe to begin brushing the second molar teeth (the teeth immediately in front of the wisdom teeth) about 1 week after the extraction(s).  When brushing, you may notice mild spotting of blood; this is normal and may occur for several days when brushing.  You may use an electric toothbrush but it is best to manually brush the adjacent second molar teeth for several weeks.  Flossing in the adjacent areas may begin 7-10 days post-operatively.