Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, as wisdom teeth often cause dental and oral health issues.
It’s important to be prepared for the right aftercare following the extraction of your wisdom teeth so that you can minimize discomfort and ensure a speedy recovery.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to expect after wisdom teeth removal surgery, from pre-surgery preparation to taking care of yourself in the days and weeks following.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final set of teeth to emerge in the mouth. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21, however, this can vary from person to person.
Wisdom teeth often lack adequate space for them to properly emerge in a healthy alignment and can cause dental overcrowding and misalignment if left untreated.
As such, wisdom teeth extractions are often recommended by dentists in order to prevent further issues.
Explanation of why wisdom teeth removal is necessary
There are a number of reasons why wisdom teeth removal may be recommended for an individual.
These include overcrowding or misalignment, impaction (when the tooth is unable to fully emerge from the gum line), decay, infection, and disease, as well as overproduction of saliva. In some cases, dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal as a preventative measure in order to avoid future issues from coming up.
As such, having your wisdom teeth extracted is often considered the best course of action to ensure lasting dental and oral health.
Practical tips to prepare for surgery
Preparing for wisdom teeth surgery can seem daunting, but there are a few practical tips to help make it go as smoothly as possible.
First and foremost, be sure to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon about the specifics of your procedure so you know what to expect.
Additionally, it is important to arrange for someone to take you home after your surgery and have a friend or family member stay with you for at least 24 hours afterward to ensure that you are properly resting and recovering.
Lastly, do not consume any alcohol or aspirin the day before your scheduled appointment, as these can affect the anesthetic given during the surgery.
What to expect from the surgery
During wisdom teeth removal, a local anesthetic is administered to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, your oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue in order to gain access to the tooth. The tooth may be removed whole or broken down into smaller pieces for easy extraction.
After the tooth is completely removed, stitches may be applied to close up the wound and instructions will be given on how to properly care for it afterward.
Recovering from Surgery
Steps to take care directly after surgery
After wisdom teeth surgery, it is important to rest and give your body time to heal. Take any medication as prescribed, and follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for keeping the wound clean and protecting it from irritation.
You should also consume soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and soups until your mouth has healed.
Avoid using straws or eating hard or crunchy food to ensure that you do not irritate the wound further.
Additionally, stay away from alcohol and smoking for at least 24 hours after surgery so that the area does not become infected.
Pain management tips and tricks
Managing the pain after wisdom teeth surgery is important in order to ensure that your mouth heals correctly.
Take any prescribed medications as recommended, and also consider using ice packs to reduce swelling and numb the area.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also be used for additional relief.
Additionally, keep your head elevated when lying down and gargle with saltwater to reduce inflammation and help with healing.
In the Days Following Surgery
Dietary recommendations and nutrition information after surgery
Following wisdom teeth surgery, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and get the nutrients your body needs for recovery.
Soft foods such as applesauce, mashed potatoes, and yogurt are recommended since they are easy to chew and swallow. Drink plenty of fluids, like juices or water, to stay hydrated and help with healing.
Additionally, try eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. This will give your body time to rest between eating sessions and help digestion.
Lastly, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking for at least 24 hours after surgery to prevent infection.
Possible complications that may arise post-surgery and how to manage them
It is important to be aware of possible complications that may arise after wisdom teeth surgery, such as infection, excessive bleeding, dry socket, and nerve damage.
If you experience any serious symptoms such as high fever, severe pain, or swelling that doesn’t subside after a few days, contact your dentist immediately.
Otherwise, some common complications that can arise are numbness in the area around your mouth due to nerve damage or dry socket which occurs when the clot fails to form in the extraction site.
To manage these issues it is important to follow your prescribed course of antibiotics and take any over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for further pain relief.
Recovery after wisdom teeth removal is a process that can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for taking care of the wound, as well as eating and drinking properly.
Pain and swelling will likely be present in the first few days, but you should expect these feelings to subside gradually.
Eating soft foods and avoiding any activities that could cause further injury will help ensure a quick and successful recovery. Most people are able to resume their normal activities within 5-7 days of the procedure.