If you’ve got an appointment to have your wisdom teeth removed and follow the wisdom tooth extraction recovery guidelines you’ve been given by your dentist, you can look forward to a speedy recovery. Let’s take a closer look at what you should and shouldn’t be doing after wisdom tooth removal surgery.
What Are The Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are your third and final set of molars that only usually erupt in your late twenties. Very often the wisdom teeth present with problems which can lead to tooth decay and therefore need to be removed. In some people the wisdom teeth erupt straight and do not present with any problems, so they can be left in the mouth.
A lot of adults have fears about wisdom tooth extraction surgery but it shouldn’t cause you to have sleepless nights because it’s actually a procedure that your dental practitioner probably performs almost every day. Most adults have their wisdom teeth removed and the majority of surgeries go forward without problems or complications.
Wisdom Teeth Aftercare Best Practice
Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your mouth after your wisdom tooth extraction. It’s important to follow these instructions carefully to prevent complications and to speed up your recovery.
What You Should Do After Wisdom Tooth Removal
It’s advisable to avoid eating and drinking for at least two hours after your wisdom teeth have been extracted. If you haven’t already quit, you should also avoid smoking after the procedure.
You should bite down on the gauze pad your dentist placed at the surgical sites until the bleeding has stopped. A little bleeding may be expected post-surgery but it should improve quite soon after your procedure is complete.
Avoid touching the site after a wisdom tooth removal – both with your tongue and fingers. This is important to avoid infection at the site. Touching the site can also dislodge the blood clot that will form there and protect the area while it heals. If you do this, it can lead to dry socket, which is an extremely painful condition.
Do not rinse your mouth for at least 12-hours after the wisdom tooth extraction, and do not drink very hot or cold beverages either. This may also disturb the blood clot so you may find it easier to use a straw to keep that area of your mouth clean.
Try your best to get as much rest as possible after wisdom tooth removal. This aids the recovery process. Keeping your head propped up on a few pillows will also help to manage any swelling and bleeding.
Make sure you brush and floss your mouth, avoiding the extraction sites as much as possible. After the first 12 hours have passed you will be able to rinse your mouth with a saline solution.
How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery Take?
While everyone is different and heals at different rates, you can expect to be recovered by two weeks after your procedure. You might feel uncomfortable once the anaesthetic wears off but any side effects you experience should improve in the days following your surgery.
Swelling is a common side effect after wisdom tooth removal but it can be managed by keeping your head elevated and applying ice packs or compresses to the outside of your face.
Biting down on a piece of gauze can help to manage and stop bleeding immediately after the wisdom tooth removal procedure, but you might have some bleeding afterwards when you brush. Any new bleeding, or bleeding that doesn’t stop with pressure should be reported to your dentist for investigation.
Pain And Discomfort
For the most part any pain and discomfort after a wisdom tooth extraction is mild and manageable. In the event that you do find the pain unbearable over-the-counter medication is usually effective for pain management. Remember again that any pain should improve, and worsening pain needs to be reported to your dentist.
Risk Factors And Complications
While complications are unusual they are statistically possible following wisdom tooth extraction. In the event that you experience any of the following side effects, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible:
- Intense sensitivity to temperature extremes
- A bitter taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath
- Swollen jaw, glands or gums
These symptoms could indicate the presence of infection after wisdom tooth removal, which would need to be treated with antibiotics.
Do you have questions or concerns about wisdom tooth extraction recovery? Please contact us directly for an appointment: (02) 8203 8760.