For most Americans, wisdom tooth removal is inevitable. In some instances, the teeth in the patient’s mouth might get crowded. In others, the wisdom tooth might become impacted or infected. Wisdom teeth can become painful if they are not removed. Sometimes a flap in the gum forms where food gets caught and causes decay.
Removing these teeth gives patients much-needed relief once the surgery is over. After the surgery, the patient must allow the gums to heal property. Find out what patients can and cannot do after wisdom tooth removal to help accelerate the healing process.
What to Expect
There are certain symptoms to expect after having a wisdom tooth removed. Often there is swelling and come pain where the wisdom was removed. Sometimes the dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe medication for pain relief. Gauze is applied to the area where the tooth was taken out to soak up the blood.
Usually, the bleeding subsides in about 24 hours. The gums take a few days to heal and the jaw can be difficult to open. If bleeding or stiffness persists after a few days, the patient should inform his or her dentist.
What Patients Cannot Do
Patients are told not to rinse out their mouths or eat anything bulky, seedy, hot, or cold. Smoking is discouraged as it can cause dry sockets and slow down the healing process. Plus, it is unwise to drink beverages through a straw as the sucking process can be harmful to the cloth that should form over the socket. Patients should also avoid lifting and bending. Exercising increases the blood pressure and should be avoided for a few days.
Heightened blood pressure can cause additional bleeding and make the blood clot dislodge from the socket, which slows down healing. Soda is also something patients should stay away from. It contains sugar, which leads to a dry mouth. And the carbonation can cause the clot that forms to lift away. Patients should also avoid alcohol consumption is it slows down healing, can lead to falls or imbalance, and may cause contraindications with pain medication.
What Patients Can Do
Patients are advised to rest and take it slow for a few days following wisdom tooth removal. Once the bleeding slows down after a day or so, patients can gently rinse with saltwater. Ice can be applied to the cheek by the surgical area to minimize swelling. In about two or three days, patients can brush but avoid the area near the extraction. Dryness of the lips can occur, and patients are advised to use lip balm to keep them moist. In two or three days, patients can resume low-level exercise, such as taking a walk.
Typically, the oral surgeon provides post-operatives instructions based on the patient’s unique circumstances. These instructions should be carefully followed to ensure the best and fastest healing. The goals are to minimize bleeding and reduce the risk of infection and pain. Resting and following the dentist’s directives for a few days can help patients get back to their normal routines.
Anyone who has experienced a painful wisdom tooth will vouch for the fact removal is the best option. Often teens and young adults are advised to have their wisdom teeth removed before they become problematic. Once they are removed, people find their mouths are more comfortable and functional.
The surgery is usually done in-office and patients leave the same day. It only takes a few days of conscientious aftercare to heal properly after this routine surgery. Then patients can resume drinking their favorite beverages, eating anything they like best, and working up a sweat while exercising.