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Teeth brushing after surgery..



Mar 28, 2019
Hello and first of all, a big thank you to everyone who has supported me in the lead-up to surgery today. My admission letter said scale and clean, radiographs, debridement, restorations.
So you can imagine my shock and meltdown when they told me I needed 6 fillings and all 4 wisdom teeth out! They had brought in an oral surgeon because one was close to a nerve, so I ended up not having a choice about GA. It’s all done and I’m home now.

My question is, when should I start brushing my teeth? It’s 7pm here, is it too risky to brush my teeth before bed tonight or in the morning tomorrow? And what precautions should I take when brushing after that for the next few days or so?

Thanks so much!
Also, am I able to leave bleeding alone without gauze if the bleeding is minor? When I did bite some gauze, there was no more blood than if I’d grazed my knee. I’m more worried about gauze getting stuck and dislodging clot (dry socket) than I am about a bit of bleeding.

I also don’t have any obvious swelling, so can I leave the ice packs?

I started taking prescription painkillers 4-5 hours post-surgery, and I’m not feeling any pain at extraction sites at all- it has now been 7-8 hours since surgery. Is this a sign that the prescription painkillers are working, or would IV painkiller have just not worn off yet (meaning I’ll get pain later)? I’ve set alarms to follow a schedule for painkillers and keep ontop of it.

Thanks again
Hi Laura, I don't have any answers to your questions but wanted to say a huge well done on getting the treatment, I know it was really hard. Great you're done now and hope you recover soon.
Hi Laura, I don't have any answers to your questions but wanted to say a huge well done on getting the treatment, I know it was really hard. Great you're done now and hope you recover soon.

Thank you so much! I highly recommend pre-med before GA, it did wonders for me!
Hi Laura, well done on getting through it. 6 fillings doesn't sound that bad considering the time since you've had any treatment... probably just some routine servicing :)

Anyway, if you're still awake, go ahead and gently brush your teeth, the extraction sites will be fine so long as you don't go mad with the brush and physically abuse them!

I never gave patients gauze away with them after surgery, so you really don't need it. The ice packs might not be a bad idea, just to stop your jaw joints aching tomorrow, you've had your mouth super-wide open while you were asleep, so it can give some TMJ irritation the next day.

The painkillers will help with the TMJ inflammation as well, if you've made it this far without major pain you'll be through the worst of it now, but I'd keep taking them for a few days to help your jaw joints.

Have a virtual high-5 from me :)
Thanks so much, but I’ve heard Days 2-3 are the worst for pain. It’s now been 10 hours since surgery and I’m still not in any pain. Does that mean that with nurofen 5-6 hours as a prevention I might not get bad pain that needs endone? My sister is a pharmacist and is trying to steer me away from endone because of addiction risk.

I’m still numb on the right side of my lower lip and chin, but feeling is starting to come back and my tongue has regained feeling.
You heard wrong :) Worst pain is the first 6-8 hrs normally, unless there's something else going wrong like a dry socket. The pain killers you got while you were under would take care of most of that.

Ibuprofen is ideal for another couple of days, the anti-inflammatory side of things will help a lot more, I'm sure your sister can explain better than me!

Dental pain almost never needs narcotics like Endone, it's far better treated by anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen.
Thanks, I’ve been doing really well but for some reason when the dentist made a follow-up phone call she sounded less than impressed with my reports of no pain or swelling. I’ve almost hit the 48 hour mark and am feeling pretty good (fingers crossed).

Still scared of dry socket though so am being extremely careful brushing my teeth, and not sure the sides of my second molars are getting the best toothbrush coverage out of fear for extraction sites. Have been rinsing with salt water three times a day plus I have toothpaste in my mouth so those edges are at least getting something. How long before I can be “less careful” with the toothbrush and treat those edges like I would have before? And is it ok to spit toothpaste yet as long as I’m gently releasing rather than using a forceful spit?

Thank you so much for all your help and sorry for all my anxiety. The only person I live with who has had wisdom teeth out doesn’t remember this stuff.

You should be clear of dry socket now. It's unusual to get one after surgical removal of wisdom teeth anyway, because of the sutures.
Give it another 24hrs and then just brush as normal, if you want to be super-cautious.

It's fine to spit as hard as you like, you can't damage anything.

No need to apologise, it's what this site is for and I'm happy to help when I can.
Thanks so much! I just ate my first semi-solid meal (pasta) and it was scaring me because I couldn’t tell if food was getting into the extraction sites. I’m now 2.5 days post-surgery (57 hours) so I’m hoping I’m clear of dry socket. I know my fear is exaggerated but I can’t help it, and am really worried about knocking stitches. I’ve also been keeping my tongue out of the way. Have started feeling some jaw stiffness in the past hour or so but I know that’s normal and resolved itself. Thanks again