Wisdom teeth removal is one of the more commonly performed dental procedures. However, while common, it can have a painful and lengthy recovery.
Growing right at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are large and often there isn’t enough room for them to grow into the correct position. This can cause significant pain and irritation, and lead to bacterial infections and cysts that damage bone and gum tissue.
For these reasons, it’s extremely important to have your wisdom teeth removed if there’s not enough space for them in your mouth. Recovery time is generally around two weeks, but this will depend on the surgery and the size and number of teeth removed.
Although many people won’t require this surgery until their mid-20s, it’s not unusual for adolescents to undergo wisdom teeth removal. You may want to seek out a kids dentist to discuss the best options for your child if they’re suffering pain due to their wisdom teeth.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to speed up the healing process and prevent further pain. Here’s everything you should do when recovering from wisdom teeth removal and keep the ordeal as quick and painless as possible.
- Apply ice
Applying ice to the cheek and jaw is a simple but effective way to reduce pain and prevent potential bruising and swelling. The first 24 to 36 hours after your procedure are crucial in determining the rest of your recovery time, so make sure to apply plenty of ice during this period.
All you have to do is apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 15 to 20 minutes, then let it rest for another 20. Repeat this process throughout the first two days after your surgery and you should be able to successfully keep down any swelling and prevent further bruising.
- Rinse with saltwater
Immediately following your surgery, you should completely avoid rinsing your mouth. However once the first 24 hours have passed, you can rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution after every meal.
This will help to clean the food particles out of your mouth and stop them from getting stuck and spreading around bacteria, and it can also help prevent potential infections.
- Follow your dentists prescriptions
Your dentist may prescribe you antibiotics and painkillers in case of any severe pain or swelling after your surgery. If you do start to feel discomfort, make sure you take these prescriptions exactly as directed.
- Avoid hard foods and alcohol
Your tooth sockets will need time to recover after your surgery, and it’s recommended that you avoid certain food and drinks following the procedure. You’ll need to stick to a pretty strict diet of liquids and soft foods, as the stitches in the back of your mouth will make it extremely difficult to chew.
Drinking alcohol can also put your recovery at risk, as it may kill the good bacteria in your mouth and leave only bad ones remaining. This puts you at a higher risk of infection and may extend the healing process.
- Rest and keep your head raised
Getting plenty of rest is the key to recovering as fast as possible and getting your life back to normal. While most people will be able to go back to work or school a few days after their surgery, getting enough rest at night (at least 7 hours) will help you jump over those final hurdles at a much faster pace.
For the first few days following the surgery, try to sleep with your head elevated. This will stop blood from pooling at the extraction site and causing further pain and throbbing.
Although everyone reacts to wisdom teeth removal differently, if you follow the tips in this article your recovery should be as smooth and comfortable as possible. Always book a follow-up appointment with your dentist to make sure the wound is healing properly and the surgery has been a success. You can also use this opportunity to discuss the procedures with your dentist that may be suitable for your family, such as all on 4 dental implants, teeth whitening and root canal treatment.