Recovering after wisdom teeth removal: what you should know

Here's what you should know about the wisdom tooth extraction recovery process.

Despite providing some entertaining chipmunk cheek pictures to look back on and a week's worth excuse to eat only ice cream, the recovery process after a wisdom teeth removal can be pretty uncomfortable. Here's what you should know about the recovery procedure and how best to take care of yourself during this time.

What to expect after removal

Recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction usually lasts between three and four days although it will depend on how severely the teeth were impacted and where they were coming in.

To reduce swelling, use an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel.

Once the anaesthetic has worn off, it is normal to experience some pain for the days following your wisdom tooth extraction. The pain will be most affecting during the first two days after the procedure so make sure you're taking the pain medication prescribed to you by your dentist to help alleviate the discomfort.

In the hour after your wisdom teeth removal, you may experience some bleeding at the site of the extraction. Continue to bite down firmly on the gauze pads that have been placed over the surgical areas. You can remove the gauze pads after an hour or so but replace them if the bleeding continues. You should contact your dentist if the bleeding continues for more than 24 hours.

Swelling will also occur both on the inside and outside of your mouth. To reduce it, you can use an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied to your cheeks. Accompanied with the swelling, you might also notice some discoloration of bruising on your cheeks – this is also normal, so don't fret. 

Soft foods such as yogurt are a good choice post-wisdom teeth removal.Soft foods such as yoghurt are a good choice post-wisdom teeth removal.

Finally, you might experience some jaw stiffness post wisdom teeth removal. This could last anywhere from a few days to two weeks – be sure to eat a soft diet during the first few days and don't attempt to force your jaw open.

How to take care of yourself post-removal

While your dentist may tell you to avoid brushing your teeth or rinsing for the first day after your wisdom tooth extraction to avoid dislodging any blood clots, be sure to rinse with salt water in the days following the procedure and brush the rest of your teeth carefully. Good oral hygiene is essential during this time to promote a speedy recovery.

Make sure you're getting plenty of rest after your wisdom teeth removal as any exercise or vigorous activity could dislodge blood clots and cause bleeding.

For more information about wisdom teeth removal and whether you might need the procedure, contact City Dentists today.