Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, grow in the back upper and lower areas of the gums. There are normally four wisdom teeth, but some may never have them at all. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to become impacted due to the lack of space in the back of the gums. When this occurs, the wisdom teeth must be extracted to relieve pain and the possibility of infection developing in the gums.

Depending on the severity of the condition of the wisdom teeth, they may be removed by a simple extraction, or a surgical extraction may be necessary. These are some of the things that may occur after having your wisdom teeth removed.


The gums where the wisdom teeth were removed from are normally packed afterward to prevent excessive bleeding. However, it is not uncommon for some bleeding to still occur until a blood clot has formed and the gums have began to grow back over the wound.

Be sure to bite down on the gauze gently on occasion to soak up the excess blood. Change the gauze when it becomes soaked with blood. Try to avoid spitting if possible, as this can loosen up the blood clot and cause the bleeding to become more severe.

Pain and Swelling 

During the first few days after having your wisdom teeth removed, you may experience a noticeable amount of pain. This pain can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications or a prescription pain reliever prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Be sure to take the medication only as directed, and the pain should subside within a few days.

You may also have swelling and bruising of your cheeks after wisdom-tooth removal. This can be relieved by holding an ice pack as directed to the outside of your cheeks. Swelling usually goes away within a few days, but it may take a bit longer for all bruising to fade.

Eating and Drinking 

It is best to eat only soft foods the first few days after having your wisdom teeth extracted. Foods such as yogurt, pudding, and applesauce are more tolerable as your gums are healing. You can gradually move on to semi-soft foods as you can tolerate chewing them. It is best to avoid spicy foods until your gums have healed to prevent them from becoming more irritated.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, but avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and hot drinks until your gums have healed. It is also important to avoid sucking drinks through a straw because this may also loosen the blood clot and cause bleeding to begin again.

If you have stitches in your gums, these usually dissolve within a week after having your wisdom teeth removed. However, if they are not dissolvable stitches, they will need to be removed by the dentist. Talk to a dental professional, such as one at Family Medical Dental Center, for more information.