More than half of the world’s population must undergo wisdom teeth removal at some point in their lives. If you’re one of them, your dentist might have already told you that you need to remove your wisdom teeth. There are several reasons why the extraction of these teeth is necessary, including extensive tooth decay, gum disease, damage to nearby teeth, installing implants, and overcrowding. Note that it’s also possible for some people to spend their whole life without problems even with their wisdom teeth intact.
The process of wisdom teeth removal is often performed by oral or maxillofacial surgeons. It’s normal to experience some discomfort, pain, and swelling after tooth extractions despite these procedures being known to alleviate tooth pain. However, the discomfort and pain experienced after the procedure can be minimized by taking several important steps.
Here are recovery tips you can follow to have a better experience:
Plan Your Actions Ahead
Even before undergoing oral surgery, it’s important to start planning your actions towards recovery. Discuss what you can do with your surgeon or dentist. Ask them for any information that you think can help you speed up your recovery. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to have enough time to rest after the operation, so make sure to request a convenient schedule. You don’t want to set an appointment in a busy week when you’re expecting to take care of a lot of things work- or business-related.
Gently Bite Down On A Gauze Pad
To stop or at least minimize the teeth extraction site’s bleeding, you might be asked by your dentist or surgeon to bite down on a gauze pad gently. It’s also a way of forming blood clots in your gums faster. Since blood clots protect the wound and the exposed bone from infection, they’re vital to your recovery. However, be careful not to reopen the wound. You have to bite down gently enough on the pad for at least five minutes until the bleeding stops completely.
While it’s normal to bleed after a wisdom teeth removal surgery, it’s always better to bleed less. Besides biting down on a gauze pad, tea bags can also help with bleeding.
Ice The Area Of Extraction
Icing the jaw and cheek is another important strategy for wisdom teeth removal pain relief. The bruising and swelling that usually occurs after the procedure may also be eased by icing the area of teeth extraction.
You can apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, let your face rest for about 20 minutes by taking the ice pack off. Ice it again and repeat the process as many times as possible for the first two days following the operation.
After the operation, you won’t be in good condition to drive, so it’s essential to ask someone to take you back home. Note that it’s also not recommended to take public transportation. Take things easy and slow after the procedure. Get plenty of rest for one to two days. The downtime is vital for a much easier long-term recovery.
The last thing you’d want to happen is a complication at the extraction site. That being said, avoid strenuous activities for a few days. A full recovery can actually take up to a full week. So, if possible, take time off work so that you won’t cause harm to yourself or others, especially if you’re operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles.
Stock Your Kitchen With Recommended Foods And Drinks
Prior to scheduling an appointment for your wisdom teeth removal, talk to your dentist or surgeon about what you can and can’t eat after the operation. Some foods and drinks are considered good to consume following wisdom teeth removal. These include softer items, such as ice cream and soups. Stocking up on them before undergoing the extraction process will make the experience easier for you during the recovery period.
Stick To Eating Soft Foods
Never disregard good nutrition when recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and, as already mentioned, stick to soft foods. Consume something nutritious but easy to chew, such as scrambled eggs, soups, and smoothies. Eating soft foods avoids dislodging the blood clots and causing dry socket. When chewing, refrain from doing it at the back of your mouth where your gums are trying to heal. Similarly, refrain from drinking water using a straw to prevent the clots from dislodging.
Follow The Pain Medication Prescription Of Your Dentist Or Surgeon
The dentist or surgeon will prescribe specific pain medications based on your pain tolerance. Ibuprofen may be enough, but many cases require stronger pain killers. To combat and prevent infections, you may also be asked to take antibiotics. When taking antibiotics, it’s important to complete the prescribed dosage even after the swelling has gone down. The bacteria in your mouth may become resistant to the drugs if you stop the treatment too soon.
Rinse Your Mouth
The dentist or surgeon may advise you to use saltwater or give you a special rinse for your mouth. So long as you can consistently do rinsing several times throughout the day, it will be of great help to your recovery process. You’ll experience less swelling and pain if you rinse your mouth every after taking a meal.
Refrain From Cigarette Smoking
The healing process can be slowed down by cigarette smoking. That being said, if you don’t want to prolong your discomfort, avoid smoking while the sockets’ wounds heal. Cigarette smoking can also cause the sockets to dry out by dislodging the blood clots over them.
Open And Close Your Mouth
Stiffness of the mouth is normal after wisdom teeth removal. If you feel any, you need to work through it by opening and closing your mouth from time to time. Bigger problems may arise if you avoid talking or eating well, so try to open and close your mouth. Of course, you can start slowly, but persistence is crucial.
By following the tips in this post, you should feel better each day, and symptoms should lessen steadily. It’s important to monitor your pain and symptoms. Do the extraction sites continue to hurt? Do you still have a fever? Do you continue to bleed?
Contact your dentist or surgeon immediately if your symptoms worsen as they may point to medical complications.