Parkway Oral Surgery
Post-Operative Instructions

Bleeding & Gauze (if applicable)

Following surgery, you will be biting on gauze. The purpose of the gauze is to put pressure on the extraction site to get the bleeding to stop. The gauze can be changed every 25-30 minutes only for the first 4 hours or until the bleeding stops. It is normal to bleed slightly for up to 24 hours post-op. Remember, do not swallow the blood as it may cause nausea. Heavy bleeding that does not stop after firmly biting on gauze (changed every 25-30 minutes) for over EIGHT (8) hours should be reported to your surgeon by calling their cell phone number. Once the bleeding stops, it is imperative that you leave the surgical sites alone. Please do not sleep while the gauze is in use (you should not need much gauze after the first four hours).

Nicotine use

DO NOT SMOKE, VAPE or USE E-CIGARRETES for at least seven (7) days after surgery. Nicotine use of any kind (dipping, vaping, smoking, nicotine gum) makes you more prone to infection and dry sockets. Dry sockets occur when the blood clot in the lower wisdom site leaves the site, exposing the bone and causing aching pain (usually about 4=5 days after surgery). If you think you may have a dry socket, please contact the office.


Significant swelling and minimal bruising are normal. The peak amount of swelling usually occurs within 3-4 days after surgery. You will appear to have “chipmunk cheeks” around that time. Ice compress helps with swelling in the first 36 hours, followed by warm compresses after 36 hours. If swelling begins to impair vision by causing the eyes to close or extends down unto your neck region, please call the office immediately.

Pain Medication

Take all medications (pain and antibiotics) as directed by Your surgeon. You have been prescribed medications that should be adequate to relieve your pain significantly. It is much easier to stay ahead of the pain than to get out of pain by taking medications exactly as directed. Set your alarm as a reminder throughout the night for the first 24 hours post-surgery. If severe pain persists, please call the office. If you received an Exparel injection for your lower wisdom teeth, you may have numbness to the lip, cheek, and tongue for up to 3 days (very rare).


If possible, for the first 24 hours, it is best to be on a liquid diet (NO STRAWS) after which you can transition to a soft diet. You will need to be on a soft food diet for at least 1 week after your procedure. Food may include pudding, Jell-O, yogurt, ice cream, mashed potatoes, applesauce, oatmeal, protein shakes, fruit smoothies, or anything you can place in a blender. Please avoid crunchy foods , as they tend to get trapped in the surgical sites, as well as spicy foods that can cause irritation. You will be numb for the first 2-6 hours, so make sure the food you eat is cool enough not to burn you. As you return to your normal diet, be mindful to take smaller bites and to avoid chewing near the surgical sites. You also want to make sure to keep yourself hydrated, plenty of fluids will help with the healing process. Not following these diet guidelines may cause food to get stuck in the surgical sites, resulting in infections.


It is very important to keep the surgical sites clean to ensure proper healing. Even though you will be sore, an attempt at normal hygiene is recommended. Continue to brush your teeth and tongue, as well as floss, but please AVOID BRUSHING THE SURGICAL SITES DIRECTLY. Your surgeon may have placed sutures at your extraction sites. They will dissolve or fall out on their own. If you happen to spit them out or swallow them, that is normal and will not hurt you. Although we warn against rinsing and spitting immediately after surgery, once the bleeding has stopped, you can gently brush your teeth and tongue before going to bed. When you rinse out, please avoid vigorous swishing (as this may cause the blood clot to come out). For the first few days following the surgery, it is recommended to place the rinse in your mouth, shake your head from side to side, and then open your mouth and allow the rinse to fall into the sink. As the healing progresses and you advance your diet, you can rinse more aggressively.

Irrigation Syringe (Wisdom Tooth Surgery ONLY)

At the time of your lower wisdom teeth surgery, you will be given a syringe that should be used to irrigate the lower surgical area NO EARLIER THAN SEVEN (7) DAYS AFTER your surgery. Using the syringe too soon or too aggressively may dislodge the blood clot, which is detrimental to healing.

Please contact our office if any issues do occur or if you have any additional questions or concerns. Should you need to contact your surgeon after hours, please call the cell phone number provided on your post-op instruction sheet.

Post Op Instruction PDF