Admittedly, not every wisdom tooth requires extraction. However, it’s usually necessary for severely impacted wisdom teeth. Not only can an impacted wisdom tooth damage neighbouring teeth, but it can lead to infection and painful cysts.
If you’re facing wisdom tooth removal, you’re probably worried about the surgery. Don’t be. We have plenty of wisdom tooth extraction recovery tips for you to follow. Take a note of these, and you can avoid the potential side effects of the procedure.
Are you ready to learn about what to do after wisdom tooth removal? Keep reading, and we’ll reveal all.
What to expect after wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom tooth removal isn’t anywhere near as bad as it sounds. In most cases, it’s an outpatient procedure performed in the dental clinic. The dentist will numb your mouth with a local anaesthetic and may have to make a small incision in the gums to access the tooth roots and properly remove the tooth.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure, but it’s still oral surgery at the end of the day. So it’s best to know what to expect and to prepare for an element of pain and swelling.
Nausea from the anaesthetic
Local anaesthesia can make some patients vomit or feel nauseous, so it’s best to have someone accompany you for your wisdom tooth removal. They can provide assistance and support should you feel a little dizzy.
Pain and swelling in the gums
You may feel some pain once the effects of the local anaesthetic have worn off, and some swelling may start to appear in your cheeks. Don’t worry. This is a normal part of wisdom tooth extraction recovery, and any pain or inflammation will subside in a few days.
Bleeding from the surgical site
It’s perfectly normal for the gums where your wisdom teeth were to bleed after extraction. Bleeding should only last for a few hours until the blood clots – usually within 24 hours of surgery.
So, now you know what to expect immediately after oral surgery, let’s look at those recovery tips we promised you.
Wisdom tooth extraction recovery tips – Things to do for faster, safer healing
Having a wisdom tooth removed doesn’t have to be scary or super painful. Follow our tips on what to do after surgery for a smooth-sailing recovery.
- Bite down gently on a gauze pad – Biting down on a gauze pad helps stop bleeding at the site and encourages a blood clot to form faster. A blood clot aids recovery by protecting the exposed bone and wound from infection.
- Ice it – Applying ice or even a bag of frozen vegetables to the jaw and cheek is another pain relief strategy after wisdom teeth removal. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes to the site of the extraction site. Then remove the ice and allow your face to rest for another 20 minutes before repeating the procedure once more. You can do this as many times as you wish for the first 48 hours.
- Take your medication – Ibuprofen may be sufficient to ease any discomfort but if they aren’t hitting the spot, ask your dentist to prescribe something stronger. Your dentist may have prescribed a course of antibiotics to stave off infection. Be sure to complete the course. Stopping the antibiotics too soon could cause the bacteria in your mouth to become resistant to the drugs.
- Keep your mouth clean – Be very gentle when brushing around the site to avoid dislodging the blood clot. You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water the day after wisdom tooth extraction, particularly after eating, to keep your mouth clean.
- Eat soft foods – It’s more important than ever to eat a nutritious diet after having wisdom teeth removed. Doing so helps ease swelling and reduces the risk of complications. Stick to soft foods easy to chew foods such as soups, smoothies and mashed vegetables.
- Get plenty of rest – Right after your surgery, be sure to get plenty of sleep. Resting means less demand on your heart, which lowers your blood pressure and results in less strain on blood vessels. Try to aim for 8 hours of sleep at night, as this too helps the healing process.
What not to do during your wisdom tooth extraction recovery?
While there are many things to do to aid recovery after wisdom tooth extraction, there are a few things to avoid for the first 48 hours at least. These include:
- Alcohol – impacts healing and raises the risk of infection
- Cigarettes – tobacco contains more than 7000 chemicals that can irritate and infect your wound. Avoid e-cigarettes as these dry the mouth, and having insufficient saliva can increase the risk of gum infections.
- Chewy foods and crunchy foods – Both of these should be off your meal list until your wound has fully healed following wisdom tooth removal.
There you have it—top tips on what you can and should not do to aid wisdom tooth extraction recovery.
If you’re still worried about having your wisdom teeth removed and any possible side effects, please don’t be. Our team at Beyond Dental Care will help ensure your speedy recovery. Get in touch with us on (07) 3067 9086 to schedule your wisdom tooth removal as soon as you can.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.