Having your wisdom teeth removed can take as long as two full weeks to recover from, but following your dentist’s wisdom teeth removal aftercare instructions can help you with a speedier recovery. With more than 35 years of dental experience, Dr Harrison provides our patients with sound advice to help them heal after their wisdom tooth extraction.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions – Why It’s Done
It is very common for wisdom teeth to present with problems. Because of the late stage at which they emerge (usually when you are between the ages of 17 and 25), there is generally too little space available in the jaws.
The wisdom teeth might erupt only partially, or come through your gum at an angle. When this happens, they are much more prone to decay.
Removing the wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure and your side effects are relative to the complexity of your wisdom tooth extraction. If you have had multiple teeth removed at once, or if your wisdom teeth were in a space that was difficult to get to, you might experience more swelling and bruising than someone who had a straightforward extraction.
How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery Take?
You can expect blood clots to form over the site of extraction within 24-hours of your procedure.
Two to three days later, any swelling in your cheeks and mouth should get better and after a week your dentist can remove any stitches if necessary. Seven to ten days after the procedure your jaw stiffness should improve and any bruising should have healed.
Everyone heals at a different rate and some patients may take up to two weeks to recover fully.
What Can You Do To Speed Up Teeth Removal Recovery?
Remember to follow the exact care instructions given to you by your dentist.
Your body will form blood clots over the extraction sites to protect them from infection and to cover up exposed bone. The blood clots also ensure you do not bleed too much and promote the growth of new tissue.
The blood clots form in the 24 hours after the extraction and they must not be disturbed or dislodged because they can cause a very painful condition called dry socket if you do. This causes an intense pain because the nerves and bone have been exposed.
Dislodging the blood clot also makes you susceptible to infection so you should ensure that you are careful when brushing your teeth. Do not rinse your mouth in the 24-hours after the surgery or drink very hot or cold beverages. Avoid drinking through a straw. Do not touch the area or run your tongue across it in the first 24-hours.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Considerations
Managing bleeding and swelling
Any bleeding after your wisdom tooth extraction can be managed by biting down on a wad of gauze. You can use each gauze pad for half an hour at a time before replacing it with a fresh one.
Mild swelling can be managed by holding an ice pack up to the side of your face in the first 24 to 36 hours after surgery. Swelling reaches its peak two to three days after the surgery so you may want to consider an anti-inflammatory to reduce it.
Eating and drinking
Your dentist will recommend that you eat soft foods and chew on the other side of your mouth while you recover. Avoid hard and sticky foods and remember to keep yourself well hydrated. You might not want to eat much after the surgery, but it is important that you drink lots of water. Remember that nutrition is an important part of your recovery and it’s important to return to your regular diet as soon as possible.
Avoid and smoking alcohol during your recovery. Smoking makes it very difficult to keep your mouth clean and should be avoided to minimise your chances of infection.
Maintain excellent dental hygiene
You should be able to brush your teeth gently on the evening of your surgery but rinse gently so as not to dislodge the blood clot. After the first 24 hours you can go back to twice daily brushing and flossing as well as rinsing with salt water five to six times a day to keep your mouth free of infection.
To find out more about wisdom teeth aftercare and recovery please get in touch with us for the closest available appointment: (03) 5975 5355.