Table of Contents
- Wisdom teeth removal recovery varies according to the patient’s situation.
- The recovery time is usually short, and you can return to your normal activities in 3-4 days.
- You have to finish your dentist’s pain medications and antibiotics prescriptions.
- Follow your dentist’s wisdom teeth aftercare instructions strictly.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt at the back of the jaw. In most cases, they erupt at an angle that poses a higher risk of infections or periodontal disease.
Wisdom teeth removal recovery usually doesn’t take too long as you could be back to school or work in just three days after the surgery. However, the recovery time could extend more than that as it depends on the level of impaction, amongst other factors.
Keep reading this article to learn what to expect after the wisdom tooth removal surgery and tips to aid your healing process.
As earlier stated, the recovery period for a wisdom tooth removal is rather short and straightforward. You will experience some effects, though, as it is still a dental surgery.
Below is what you should expect throughout your wisdom tooth extraction recovery:
The First 24 Hours
You may wake up in your dental chair after the procedure if you were administered a local anesthetic or sedative. However, your dentist may take you to a recovery room if the surgery was performed under general anesthesia, as it may take longer to regain consciousness.
The numbness in your mouth will slowly disappear when you wake up. Then some pain and swelling will follow this, but that is completely normal. You will experience bleeding in your mouth, and your dentist will place gauze to stop it.
You should use an ice pack wrapped in a small towel to reduce inflammation and pain in the extraction area. Your dentist will give you medication prescriptions and instructions on caring for the surgical area at home.
At this time, you can begin to eat as you normally would. When it feels comfortable enough, you can enjoy pizza, a sandwich, or anything. You may want to avoid crunchy foods, though, as they could cause slight pain or disturb the area.
Be very careful around the extraction sites during this time. You do not want to disturb them, so keep your fingers and tongue at bay. Continue to take the medications prescribed to you even though you may feel the pain start to subside.
Swelling will typically start to go down after 2 days. To Fastrack this, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Don’t swish the water in your mouth; gently tilt your head from side to side to rinse your mouth.
You can continue to use the warm salt water rinse to cleanse your mouth for up to two weeks. Your dentist may recommend an alternative option of an antimicrobial rinse. They will tell you how long you can use the rinse.
You want to continue to avoid swishing with your cheeks. And that’s because heavy swishing may dislodge the blood clot in your extraction area and thus lead to dry sockets.
Also, refrain from drinking through a straw as the suction could cause the blood clot to dislodge and again cause dry sockets. Dry sockets can get very painful and delay healing, so you don’t want that.
Long Term Recovery
The recovery period typically won’t exceed one week, and you will be able to get back to your normal activities. However, the wound left behind by the treatment may not fully heal until a few months.
You want to continue avoiding strenuous activities that could pressure the extraction area. To ensure healing progress as normal, avoid activities that could dislodge the blood clot or tear the stitches.
Pay keen attention to the area and look for any signs of infections or nerve damage, as it could still happen months after the procedure. Let your dentist know of any questions or concerns you have.
What To Expect During The Recovery Process
You can expect mild pain, swelling, and bleeding in the first few days after your procedure. You will also have to stay away from hard and crunchy foods and focus mainly on soft foods for a while.
The wisdom tooth removal will require you to sleep and sit with your head propped on a pillow for the first few days. You may also experience fever in the first 48 hours, but this will likely go away in no time.
The wisdom teeth removal recovery is straightforward and doesn’t take long to complete. However, the wound will not heal fully until after a couple of months.
Wisdom Tooth Pain Relief
You can manage your wisdom tooth pain by taking pain-relieving medications. Your dentist may prescribe medications for you or ask you to take over-the-counter drugs. This will depend on your situation, so it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions.
They may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections in your teeth now that they are vulnerable to germs. Any swelling you have can be relieved by applying an ice pack on your cheek. Ensure you wrap the ice pack in a small towel to avoid frostbite.
How To Speed Up Healing
The wisdom teeth removal recovery is short, as already established in this article. However, taking certain precautions after a wisdom tooth removal could speed up your recovery.
- Rest adequately and always have your head elevated.
- Use ice packs to alleviate swelling for the first 48 hours, then shift to heat.
- Start rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mix 24 hours after the wisdom tooth extraction.
- Continue to take your antibiotics and pain medication as directed.
Foods To Eat & Foods To Avoid
You should consult your doctor for foods that will be safe to eat during your wisdom teeth removal recovery. You should focus on foods that are not hard to chew and will not irritate your stitches at the extraction site.
You can enjoy soft foods like:
- Mashed potatoes
You will have to avoid hot foods, nuts, and seeds. Also, avoid slurping too vigorously from a spoon, as it can irritate your extraction area.
How Long Will Pain Last After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
The pain should subside a few days after the wisdom teeth removal surgery. Regardless, you can alleviate the pain with prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
What Does Dry Socket Pain Feel Like?
The pain may be extreme, extending from the socket to your eyes, ears, temple, or neck. It is usually accompanied by an unpleasant taste in your mouth and a bad odour.
Is It Normal to Have Pain 4 Days After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Yes, it is normal to experience pain in the first 4 days after your wisdom teeth removal surgery. The pain will begin to lessen as the days go by and with the pain medication.
Why Does My Extraction Site Still Hurt?
If you develop a dry socket, the debris stuck there can add to the pain and delay healing. So, you must be extremely careful to avoid disturbing the blood clot.
How can I manage the pain of a wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure that is done to correct issues related to the growth and development of wisdom teeth. It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort after the procedure. However, there are several ways you can manage the pain effectively.
- Take prescribed pain relievers
Your dentist or oral surgeon will likely prescribe medication to help manage pain and reduce inflammation. It is essential that you take the medication as prescribed. Do not take more than the recommended dosage.
- Apply ice packs
Applying an ice pack to the affected area can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Apply the ice pack for 10-20 minutes at a time, with a break of 10-20 minutes between each application.
- Gargle with salt water
Gargling with salt water can help soothe the surgical site and promote healing. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water, and gargle it gently for 30 seconds. Do this several times a day.
- Avoid hard and crunchy foods
After the procedure, the surgical site will be sensitive. Avoid eating hard and crunchy foods that could aggravate the area. Instead, eat soft and easily digestible foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soups.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers
You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage pain. However, make sure you talk to your dentist or oral surgeon before taking any medication.