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Wisdom Teeth

An impacted tooth, or partially impacted tooth, is blocked from breaking through the gum. A tooth becomes impacted when your mouth doesn’t have enough space for it. This can be the result of genetics or orthodontic treatment.

Sometimes they cause no symptom and are discovered during a routine X-ray.

Symptoms of impacted, or partially impacted, teeth vary from any of the following:

- red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- bad breath
- a bad taste in your mouth
- difficulty opening your mouth
- pain when opening your mouth, or when chewing and biting

Wisdom teeth and the maxillary canines are the most common impacted teeth.

If your impacted tooth isn’t causing any symptoms, we may simply recommend a wait-and-see approach. However, if you’re experiencing pain and other side effects, we may recommend extraction surgery.

Impacted teeth aren’t always a problem, and in some cases, there’s no need to treat them. Other times, however, they must be removed to prevent infection, damage to other teeth, or other complications.


1. Be well fed and hydrated on the days leading up to your implant surgery. During the winter months, or if your spend most of your time indoors, we recommend that you take Vitamin D 2000 IU/day for at least 1 week prior to your wisdom teeth surgery.
2. Men should ideally be well-shaved and women without cosmetic make-up. Your face and neck should be washed with soap and water prior to showing up for your appointment.
3. Your teeth should be flossed and brushed, using conventional toothpaste. If you were prescribed an antibacterial mouth wash prior to the operation, please rinse with one tablespoon (15-20mL) prior to your appointment. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will also be given a diluted mixture of hydrogen peroxide to rinse your mouth.
4. If you are scheduled to have your wisdom teeth surgery under intravenous sedation, do not eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your surgical time.
5. Your surgeon will discuss your regular medications with you, as well as prophylactic antibiotics, at your initial consultation.

Mild bleeding is expected for ~48 hours following oral surgery. If bleeding occurs, place a clean gauze pad, or a moist tea bag, directly over the bleeding site and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids, exercise, and lying flat for ~ 5 days. If bleeding persists, call the doctor immediately.

The area operated will swell, reaching a maximum on day 3. Swelling and discoloration around the lips, cheeks, and even eyes may occur. Apply ice packs externally over the face for the first 2 days. Sleep with your head elevated above your chest for the first 5 days (use 2 or 3 pillows under your head when lying down).

For mild discomfort, take Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen or Tylenol/Acetaminophen as instructed on the bottle. For severe pain, use the prescriptions given to you. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first day after surgery, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt-water rinse (1 tablespoon in 1 cup) every 4 hours and after meals. Vigorous spitting is prohibited; instead, lean over the sink and allow liquids to passively flow out of your mouth. It is expected that you brush your teeth gently, while avoiding the surgical areas.

Drink lots of clear fluids throughout the first 2 days after surgery. Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance the consistency of your diet; this usually begins on day 5 or 6.

If you have a high fever or uncontrollable pain, please contact the doctor directly. If you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, someone must accompany you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911. Your doctor must also be called.