Pain in varying amounts is to be expected after any oral surgery. The combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen has been shown to work better than either drug alone, and in several studies, better than narcotics.  These pain relievers are very inexpensive and can be bought over the counter “OTC” in any pharmacy and in many supermarkets.

Ibuprofen: (Advil®, Motrin®): maximum adult daily dose = 2400 mg

OTC generic ibuprofen is sold as either tablets or capsules of 200mg

Acetaminophen: (Tylenol®): maximum adult daily dose = 4,000 mg. Acetaminophen is sold OTC in multiple strengths of 325mg, 500mg and 650mg. Get the 500mg tablets.


When you begin to feel pain, begin a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen taken together and repeat every 4 hours as needed while you are awake:

Ibuprofen: 200mg:                                   take 2

Acetaminophen 500mg:                        take 1

Take your last dose before you go to bed. You do not need to be awakened during the night to take this medicine if you are sleeping well. You can take a maximum of 6 doses of this combination every 24 hours. If you need to take your prescribed narcotic pain medication in addition to the above, the small amount of acetaminophen contained in the narcotic pain medications will not be a problem.

Swelling commonly develops after oral surgery and tends to reach its peak in 24-48 hours.  Elevate your head and place an ice pack over the affected area.  Ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 36 hours after surgery to help reduce the amount of swelling.  A bag of frozen peas or corn works very well.

Diet for the first 24 hours following surgery should consist of soft and/or liquid foods.  Fluids are important to prevent dehydration.  It is OK to suck on a straw for smoothies, milkshakes, etc. After 24 hours, let your comfort level guide your diet.  Avoid particulate foods, such as peanuts, sesame seeds or popcorn for 2 weeks.

Bleeding following oral surgery is not uncommon and may continue for several days.  Bite on gauze for about 30 minutes after surgery and replace the gauze as needed if oozing persists.  You may gently rinse your mouth to freshen it, but vigorous mouth rinsing should be avoided for 2 days after surgery.  Apply ice to the affected side of your face.

~ Tea bags may be used for persistent bleeding in this way:  Place a moistened tea bag over the area and bite firmly for 10 minutes by the clock.  Repeat as needed.

Nausea may occur after any oral surgery and is an unfortunate, but normal, side effect of all the narcotic pain medications.  If you experience nausea, minimize the amount of narcotic pain pills you use and try to get by on ibuprofen.  Drink small amounts of fluids often, such as Gatorade, cola or iced tea.

~ If an anti-nausea medication has been prescribed, use it in this way to prevent nausea:

  1. Eat a little something first (like yogurt or scrambled eggs).
  2. Take a nausea pill and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Take your first narcotic pain pill.

Constipation is a common side effect of narcotics. If you are taking narcotic pain medication, be sure to take OTC stool softeners until you have a bowel movement:

  1. Colace 100 mg three times daily
  2. Senna 8.6 mg twice daily

Bruising or discoloration of the face and neck may occur several days after oral surgery and will resolve itself over several days.  Heat packs may be used after 36 hours to help this resolve.

Good oral hygiene after oral surgery promotes better healing.  Begin gentle tooth brushing the day after surgery or whenever you are comfortable.  If you have received a prescription for a mouth rinse, use it as prescribed.

Sutures should dissolve on their own within one to two weeks.

Lower wisdom teeth sockets can be irrigated beginning 48 hours after surgery:

~ If you were given an irrigation syringe, rinse out each lower socket with warm, slightly salty water, after each meal.  The opening to the lower socket is just beyond the last molar, slightly to the cheek side.  You can stop irrigating when the hole fills in, which is usually within two to three weeks.  The upper wisdom teeth sockets usually take care of themselves.

Call 911 for any serious reactions, such as serious bleeding, respiratory distress or rapidly expanding swelling with difficulty in swallowing or breathing.

Please call the office if you experience severe bleeding, a fever of over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, persistent nausea or vomiting, or numbness that does not fade away within 2 days.

  1. Weekdays during business hours (8am-5pm) call 971-279-4616.
  2. Nights, weekends and holidays, call 503-224-1371 for our answering service