Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips: Things Expect & Timeline
Research data indicates that as many as 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted every year in the United States alone. Typically, an extraction of wisdom teeth is recommended when:
- They are misaligned.
- Crowd other teeth.
- If they are trapped fully or partially.
- If they are infected.
If you have been advised to have a wisdom tooth extraction, odds are that you are concerned. You do not have to be. Here is everything including wisdom teeth removal recovery tips that you need to know to make the recovery process seamless.
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Things To Expect After the Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom tooth extraction is a minimally invasive process that involves the dentist making an incision in your gums. This then allows the dentist to reach the roots of the affected wisdom tooth to be able to pull it out. In every dental service, dentists are taking utmost care of their patients. You can, therefore, expect the following:
Some Amount of Nausea
This occurs on account of the local anesthesia, the effects of which take about a day to wear out. Other than nausea and vomiting, the mouth may feel numb for a few hours after the surgery. For patients suffering from dental anxiety, sedation is also a possibility. It will be good to keep your dentist informed, for him to plan accordingly.
Inflammation in the Gums
Some amount of pain and swelling in the gums is to be expected once the effect of anesthesia wears off. This is normal and will subside in a few days.
The extraction site may show some bleeding for the first few hours after the extraction.
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Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Tips
Here are some handy tips to ensure a speedy recovery post your wisdom tooth extraction:
Biting on a Gauze Pad
Gently biting on a gauze pad comes in handy in stopping the bleeding. It also ensures that blood clots are formed faster, which, in turn, helps in protecting the wound from infection.
Icing the Jaw and the Cheek
Applying an ice pack to the extraction site can help with easing the swelling that follows the extraction. For the first 36-48 hours, it is recommended that you apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes, take a break for 20 minutes and apply it again.
Massaging your jaw will also help in releasing the tension and helping you recover fast. Due to the mouth being held wide open for a long-time during extraction, it can lead to a condition called temporary trismus or lockjaw. A massage can offer much-needed relief to the masseter, one of the muscles that are prone to injury after the surgery.
Stick to Pain Relief Medication
Ensure that you take the painkillers prescribed by the dentist. Sometimes you may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent any infection. It is prudent that you do not stop the course in between as then the bacteria can become resistant to the drugs.
Follow Oral Hygiene
For the initial period be careful when brushing the area near the extraction site. Rinsing your mouth with salt water the day after the surgery will also come to good use.
A nutritious diet is extremely important post extraction, as it will help the wound to heal. However, do remember to stick to soft food that is easy to chew. Mashed vegetables, soup, yogurt are options.
Plenty of rest post the procedure is what the dentist orders. Enough sleep, particularly after the surgery, will help in the healing process and expedite recovery. For the first three days though it is recommended that you keep your head elevated as lying flat could make the wound throb. Keeping your head elevated can reduce swelling and help you recover faster.
Don’ts After Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Say No to Alcohol
Alcohol can kill the good bacteria in your mouth while allowing the bad ones to remain and hence interfere with your healing. In fact, with bad bacteria you are highly prone to infections. Avoiding alcohol for a week till you achieve full healing is therefore recommended.
Avoid Sugar Candies
Once again sugary candies will be a treat for bad bacteria. Also, with these sweets you will expedite plaque formation in your mouth. Additionally, it will be hard to remove pieces that get stuck to your teeth since post-surgery brushing needs to be gentle. In turn, this could lead to bacteria multiplying and infecting your wound.
Avoid Hard Food
Hard or crunchy food needs to be a strict no-no as it can pierce your gums. In such an eventuality it will take far longer for the wound to heal.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking can seriously infect your wound. Even the use of electronic cigarettes needs to be avoided as they can dry your mouth and increase the risk of infection.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery Timeline
Following these small tips can go a long way in speeding up your recovery process. Broadly, you would be looking at the following recovery timelines:
- First day– Blood clots will form.
- 2-3 days– Inflammation should recede.
- 7 days– Stitches may be removed.
- 7-10 days– Soreness should get better.
- 14 days– Bruising should heal.
While healing time varies by individual, typically people can return to work within 2-3 days of the wisdom tooth removal.
In the rare case that you develop an infection, you need to see your dentist immediately. Symptoms of an infection include:
- Yellow or white pus around the wound
- High temperature
- Intense, throbbing pain, which could be a sign of dry socket.
Even in the absence of any signs of infection, do stick to the scheduled post-operative checks so that your dentist can examine the extraction site and be sure that it is healing well.
At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we offer both simple as well as surgical tooth extraction services. We offer you an extremely comfortable and stress-free tooth extraction procedure. Exemplary care and warm, friendly service is our hallmark. In the hands of a caring professional, you can be completely at ease. Schedule an appointment with us if you experience intense pain around your teeth or jaws. You can also reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (925) 846-4491.