Wisdom tooth removal can be a daunting surgical procedure.
Maybe you are uncomfortable in the dental chair to begin with, and the thought of dealing with “chipmunk cheeks” doesn’t excite you. But you know the teeth have to come out, or they will continue to cause problems with your alignment.
When wisdom tooth extraction is inevitable, use our tips to ease your discomfort and speed up your recovery.
Reduce Bleeding with Gauze
Your gums most likely will bleed for up to 48 hours following the procedure. Immediately after you leave the office, keep gauze firmly pressed on the incision sites for at least an hour. Replace the gauze as needed until the blood flow slows, clots and stops.
Control Swelling with Ice
The 24 hours after you wisdom teeth are removed are critical for reducing swelling. Put ice bags on your cheeks in 30-minute intervals. After the first day has passed, ice is unlikely to help reduce swelling.
Smart Pain Management
Your oral surgeon may prescribe a painkiller to help you manage your discomfort in the first few days following wisdom tooth removal. You also could opt for over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil instead.
Be sure to take prescription painkillers with fluids, and only after you have eaten a small snack. Otherwise, you could have nausea on top of your pain, which is another added symptom you definitely want to avoid.
Eat Soft Foods
Many oral surgeons and dentists recognize the fact that you will be in no mood to eat anything, and you probably should limit your diet in the initial time period following wisdom tooth removal.
However, you can and should drink water, as your body needs fluids to avoid dehydration. But don’t drink out of a straw — using your mouth muscles for suction could jump-start the bleeding once again.
When you do feel you can eat, remove the gauze from your mouth and have small portions of protein-filled foods like yogurt, healthy smoothies, pudding, oatmeal or soup.
After you eat, and periodically throughout each day, rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This will help to reduce bacteria. When you’re comfortable doing so, brush your teeth gently to ease back into your regular oral care routine.
The Healing Process
If you do not feel like you are making progress within three days, call your dentist or oral surgeon for a follow-up appointment. While you may still see swelling, you should feel healed enough to resume eating semi-solid foods. Your jaw muscles or throat may be sore and stiff, but within a week, you should be back to feeling like your old self.
Any severe pain could be a sign of a dry socket, and a fever could mean infection, so don’t hesitate to call your dental professional’s office if you exhibit these symptoms.
For a patient-centered oral surgery team that focuses on convenience, comfort and comprehensive care, make an appointment with Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today, and your wisdom tooth removal procedure will be in good hands.