Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
Recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction is different for everyone. There are a variety of factors that affect healing, including your age, level of impaction, and existing oral health.New Image Dentistry wants your recovery to be as pain-free and quick as possible, so we’ve put together a general Recovery Guide.
Recovery Instructions for Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Bite on Gauze for 30-45 minutes then remove it and throw it away.
- Do NOT smoke (for at least 72 hours after the extraction) Tobacco interferes with the healing process and can cause dry socket.
- Do NOT suck through a straw or anything that could pull the blood clot out.
- Do NOT rinse your mouth vigorously.
- Avoid vigorous activities for the next 24 hours. This keeps your blood pressure lower, reduces bleeding, and helps the healing process.
- Take medications as recommended. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
- 8-24 hours after surgery you may use a cold pack to eliminate swelling or pain.
After 24 Hours:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times a day (dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water).
- It’s very important to continue cleaning your teeth after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing every day.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Pain Relief
- Ice packs: 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. The swelling should decrease after 48 hrs.
- Pain medications: as recommended by your oral surgeon.
- Rest: It might be hard to sit still, but by resting, you allow your body to heal faster, making the healing process that much faster.
Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid
- Eat soft foods for the first 24 hours.
- Begin eating normally as soon as it’s comfortable.
- Also, rinse gently after meals.
- No straws!
- No alcoholic beverages
- No hot and spicy foods.
Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery
Dry socket is the most common complication of wisdom tooth removal. This is why you should not smoke, drink through straws, or otherwise create pressure within your mouth. You could disturb the delicate blood clot forming on your empty tooth socket, creating a situation where the bone and nerves are exposed. Dry socket is very painful, and typically needs to be seen by a dentist to ensure full recovery. Your dentist will be able to recommend pain relief medications, though for most, NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) work well.
Tooth Extraction Recovery Timeline
Your healing process is affected by many factors, and can really depend on the actions you take (or don’t take) during recovery. By following our recovery guide, you’ll heal as quickly as possible. Some people feel completely normal after four days, and other patients might take up to a week to be unaffected by pain or swelling. The socket left from the wisdom tooth extraction will begin be covered by solid gum tissue after about 2 weeks, and it can take up to 6 months for the underlying bone to heal and remodel. If you feel pain after a week, or the pain is very severe, go into your dentist’s office again for a checkup. If you were prescribed antibiotics, it’s very important to take the full course, even if you feel fine.
Good luck on your recovery, and we’ll see you for your next checkup!