Tips for Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Removal
About 85 percent of people will need to have their wisdom teeth removed at some point. This is one of the oldest and safest procedures in dentistry, but it is a surgical procedure. If you are going to undergo wisdom teeth removal, you need to be prepared for what’s involved with recovering. During your healing period, you will want to assist in your own recovery by following your doctor’s instructions, as well as these wisdom teeth removal recovery tips.
During wisdom teeth removal, you will be anesthetized, and your doctor will make an incision around each of your wisdom teeth. The tooth will then be surgically removed, sometimes whole, and sometimes in pieces depending on the tooth. The doctor will clean the socket where the tooth used to be, then stitch the incision closed if needed. Gauze will then be placed over the surgical site, and you will be asked to bite down on this gauze after the surgery to prevent excessive bleeding. You may be given medications, including pain medicine and antibiotics. Make sure you take these according to your doctor’s instructions and follow these guidelines to help you recover from wisdom teeth removal.
- Be gentle. Don’t disrupt the healing areas with your tongue, fingers, or food. You may experience swelling in your cheeks and jaw, and you can use ice or a cold compress to help bring this down. After a couple of days, you can use low heat to ease your discomfort.
- Be cautious. You shouldn’t use a straw or suck on ice while you’re recovering from wisdom teeth removal, because this can cause a strain on the surgical area. In fact, it can disrupt the protective blood clots forming in the sockets, resulting in a condition known as dry socket. Do not smoke, because this can introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the wound. Smoking or vaping also increases your chances for dry sockets.
- Take it easy. You will need to do nothing but rest for the first 24 hours after your surgery, but after that you will still need to ease back into activities because strenuous physical activity can increase your pain and slow your recovery. Recovery time for wisdom teeth removal can vary, but after three to five days, you should notice that the pain and swelling is decreasing, and you should not have any discharge coming from the surgical site. If you do notice any discharge, or you don’t feel like you are getting better as quickly as you should be, contact your doctor.
- Watch what you eat. While you are going through wisdom teeth removal recovery, you will only be able to eat soft foods. You can eat things like yogurt and soup but be careful to let the soup cool down before you eat it. Hot foods are something to avoid after wisdom tooth removal, until your numbness wears off and all bleeding has subsided. Make sure that you are staying hydrated as you recover.
- Keep your mouth clean. You probably won’t be allowed to brush your teeth for 24 hours after the surgery, but you can gently rinse food out of the sockets with warm water. After 24 hours, rinsing with warm salt water is a good idea. Brush your teeth very gently, taking care not to disrupt the surgical site.
If you need your wisdom teeth removed, look for a surgeon with experience, an excellent safety record, and a good reputation. For over four decades, Atlanta Oral and Facial Surgery has provided a long list of oral and facial solutions to restore our patients’ smiles and improve their quality of life. The region’s premier choice for oral and maxillofacial surgery, we have an impeccable safety record and a team of highly trained, board-certified surgical professionals, committed to patient safety and surgical excellence. AOFS is the largest oral surgery practice in the United States, and we can manage a wide range of treatments that include the teeth, mouth, jaw, and other parts of the face. We are dedicated to helping patients achieve optimal health and wellness, and it is our ambition to provide our broad scope of surgical services to our community. Whether you need TMJ treatment, dental implants, removal of wisdom teeth, or another type of oral or facial surgery, we are here to guide you through all of your oral surgery needs. Call us for more information at 478-401-1527, or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation.