Wisdom teeth removal is quite common with millions of extractions each year. Roughly 85 percent of all people opt to have these teeth removed either due to them being impacted, decayed or causing crowding among other teeth.
Patients often want to know how to recover quickly after wisdom tooth removal so they can get back to engaging in the activities they enjoy. Here are several recovery tips that will help you heal faster and more completely.
Tips for Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
As you prepare for having your wisdom teeth removed, read up on these recovery tips to create an atmosphere and schedule that are conducive to recovery.
1. Plan to Take it Easy
While you won’t have activity restrictions like you would for having other types of surgery, you’ll still want to keep your schedule open to rest as much as possible.
Plan to get no less than seven hours of sleep each night during recovery, but if you can get even more, that’s better. Sleep will help keep swelling at a minimum because your heart rate stays lower during sleep, which reduces pressure and strain on your blood vessels.
The less physical activity you engage in during the first few days after your wisdom teeth removal, the sooner you’ll feel back to your normal self. If you feel the need to move, consider keeping it light with just a stroll around the neighborhood instead of a big sweaty workout or other strenuous activity.
2. Use the Gauze Pads Your Oral Surgeon Provides
Biting down on gauze pads in the early hours after extraction can help you stop bleeding. It can also aid your body in forming blood clots faster, which will protect the site from infection.
Be gentle when biting down on the gauze because if you’re too vigorous, you’ll open the wound back up.
3. Use Ice to Reduce Inflammation
Icing your jaw and cheeks can help keep inflammation down after surgery. Use an ice pack on the outside of your mouth near the extraction site for 15-20 minutes every hour. If you can, keep up this routine for the first 36-48 hours after extraction for the best results.
4. Keep Your Mouth Clean
Listen carefully to your dentist’s guide for brushing your teeth in the days after surgery. You’ll want to be gentle when brushing for several days or even weeks. You don’t want to disrupt the wounds and cause the blood clots to dislodge, opening the wound up again and risking infection.
Rinse your mouth after surgery using warm salt water after every time you eat and before bed. Avoid mouthwashes you’ve purchased from the grocery store for the time being because the added chemicals could be too much for your healing mouth.
5. Use Pain Medication as Recommended
Dr. Coyne of Coyne Oral Surgery will typically prescribe a narcotic pain prescription to be taken the first two days after surgery. They may recommend taking ibuprofen for any pain relief for a few days after that. Waiting until you experience pain could make it more challenging to find the recovery that you need from the meds.
Depending on how your extraction went and the status of your wisdom teeth before removal, your oral surgeon might also prescribe an antibiotic if there is a risk of infection. Be sure to complete the treatment plan accordingly for the best results.
6. Enjoy Soft Foods
This is your chance to enjoy ice cream as a meal. But if you can, also add in a smoothie to get the nutrients your body needs to ease swelling and perform at its best to heal faster.
Softer foods will be best while your wounds heal. Some foods to consider include:
- Mashed foods
- Ice cream
- Popsicles (if you have molds at home, you could make smoothie popsicles for optimal nutrition)
When drinking any liquids, make sure you aren’t using a straw for the first five days. Straws can cause a dry socket, which is a painful complication to extraction healing. You can drink whatever you want but make sure you are drinking straight from the cup or using a spoon for those thicker liquids like smoothies.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Sugar
Sugar and alcohol will disrupt your mouth’s bacteria. It can kill the good bacteria and allow the bad bacteria to grow. If you can hold out a week on these foods, you’ll give your extraction wounds optimal healing time.
Eating sugar during this time you have to brush super gently could also lead to cavities if you aren’t careful. So while you can enjoy ice cream and Jell-O, keep it to a minimum and do your best to brush and rinse after eating to avoid tooth decay.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Franklin, Tennessee
If you’re looking for an oral surgeon to complete wisdom teeth extraction or a variety of other procedures, Coyne Oral Surgery is your trusted team of professionals prepared to help you recover as quickly as possible from your dental work. The compassionate team will help you stay comfortable and explain what you need to know before a procedure. Contact Coyne Oral Surgery with questions or to schedule an appointment.