After having wisdom teeth removed, it will take a few days of healing before you get back to 100%. During your consultation for wisdom teeth removal, we will give you thorough aftercare instructions. To help you better prepare for your consultation and procedure, we’ve put together this guideline of aftercare tips.
Following these directions will help improve your recovery from surgery and reduce the risk of complications. Healing from wisdom tooth surgery is a fairly straightforward process. The majority of aftercare is centered around maintaining the wound and stitches to reduce the risk of infection and dry socket.
The Importance of Aftercare
Wisdom tooth extraction is a popular procedure. Millions of Americans having their wisdom teeth removed each year, and the majority of patients recover quickly with minor side effects. At the same time, patients should be aware of dry socket, since it is a common complication that is easy to prevent.
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms in the tooth’s socket becomes dislodged or dissolves, revealing the sensitive bone and nerve tissue. Along with severe pain, dry socket can cause bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, swollen lymph nodes, and even fever. To help reduce the risk of dry socket and infection, it is important to follow the advice below.
Dealing with Swelling After Wisdom Teeth Removal
After wisdom teeth removal, swelling and soreness in the face and neck are common. The easiest way to reduce post-surgical swelling, bruising, and discomfort is by applying ice packs on the outside of your mouth. Use an ice pack for two days after surgery, alternating for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. We might recommend a warm compress instead of ice if the tooth was infected before it was removed.
Dealing with Bleeding After Wisdom Teeth Removal
It is normal to experience some bleeding after wisdom teeth removal. You will need to keep a gauze pad over the extraction area for 30 minutes after surgery. If you experiencing heavy bleeding, you can apply gentle, yet firm pressure to the gauze by pushing on it with your fingers or biting down gently. You may also apply a moistened tea bag to the area since the tannic acid in the tea will help promote clotting.
Oral Health Care
For the first two hours after wisdom tooth extraction, you should limit eating, drinking, talking, and activities. Avoid drinking from a straw or rinsing intensely, along with any excessive movement that might dislodge the clot. You will also need to avoid intense exercise, smoking, and spitting. You will need to rinse with salt water and brush your teeth, carefully avoiding the extraction site, about 12 hours after surgery.
What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal
The food and drink you eat after wisdom teeth extraction will help improve your healing process, but you will need to wait for your mouth to stop bleeding before you eat or drink. Once the bleeding stops, it is important to stay hydrated with warm and cold drinks.
You should also eat nutrient-rich food to improve healing while avoiding food that requires too much chewing which can aggravate your stitches and extraction site. Some good foods to eat after wisdom teeth extraction, include:
- Mashed potatoes
You will need to stay away from foods that are overly hot and nuts and seeds that can get lodged in the wisdom teeth socket. You should also abstain from aggressive slurping from a spoon, which can cause the clot to become dislodged. It is also a good idea to steer clear of carbonated beverages.
Medications for Wisdom Teeth
After having wisdom teeth extracted, we might prescribe antibiotics for infection and pain medication to help regulate pain. If prescribed narcotic pain medication, you will need to find a driver and forgo drinking alcoholic beverages. During the initial consultation, our oral surgeon will give you more detailed instructions about which medication will work best for your treatment.
When to Call Our Dentists
During your recovery from wisdom teeth extraction, you will need to pay attention to your pain and swelling levels. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should call our dentist:
- Swelling that worsens over time
- Bleeding that will not slow with pressure
- Excessive pain three to four days after surgery
- Persistent high fever
Whether you have one or multiple wisdom teeth extracted, recovery from surgery will take anywhere between three days and one week. To improve your healing time and reduce the likelihood of complications, we recommend following our dentist’s aftercare advice as closely as possible.
Want to learn more about wisdom teeth extraction at Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery? Call our experienced oral surgery experts today at 843-321-4300.