What Should You Do After Wisdom Tooth Extractions?

Wisdom teeth are typically extracted by dentists or oral and maxillofacial specialists. Such procedures are usually done in the professional’s own office, though it may take place in a hospital setting if all wisdom teeth are coming at one once or if you present an unusual risk of complications.

Expectations Following Surgery

Generally, recovery from wisdom tooth extraction takes just a couple of days. Make use of the painkillers prescribed for you by your surgeon. By following the guidance provided below, you should experience a smooth recovery process without major issue.

  • Regularly bite down on gauze pads, changing them once they are soaked with blood. If you still experience bleeding 24 hours beyond your surgery, contact your surgeon or dentist.
  • During the time in which your mouth remains numb, take care that you do not bite the inner portion of your cheek, your tongue or your lips. Avoid lying flat, as this can extend your bleeding time. Use pillows to prop your head higher.
  • Consider applying ice to the external portion of your cheek for roughly 15-20 minute intervals for the initial 24 hours after surgery. Moist types of heat such as a wrung- out washcloth that was placed into hot water can be helpful for 2-3 days following the procedure. Remember that engaging in physical activity can increase the amount of bleeding you experience.
  • Stick to softer types of food, eating a diet that includes puddings, gelatins and broths. Once the healing process is well underway, you may begin adding solid foods back into your routine. Steer clear of straws for the first couple of days following surgery, as the act of sucking through straws can cause your blood clot to loosen, lengthening your overall healing time.
  • Once the first 24 hours have passed, begin rinsing the mouth with warmed salt water a few times daily in order to relieve pain and swelling. It is easy to make your own mixture by placing a teaspoon of salt into a roughly 8-ounce glass of warm tap water.
  • Prevent yourself from smoking for no less than 24 hours post-surgery. Sucking on a cigarette puts you at risk of dislodging your blood clot, causing healing to take longer than necessary. In addition, smoking impairs circulation and introduces germs into the surgical site.
  • Do your best not to touch the site with your fingers or tongue. Make certain to brush the tongue and the teeth carefully as usual, and in a few short days, your dentist will be able to remove any stitches if necessary.

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