Wisdom Tooth Extraction: 9 Tips for Fast Recovery
In Canada, there are approximately 5 million people who get their wisdom teeth extracted every year. You might not realize it but having issues with your wisdom teeth is quite common especially for adults.
However, due to the pain, bleeding, swelling that comes after the surgery, and the horror stories that some people share will leave others in cold feet when it’s their time to remove their wisdom teeth.
Let me tell you this — You shouldn’t feel too anxious about undergoing the surgery (especially when it’s necessary) as discomfort, pain, and swells aren’t abnormal experiences. In fact, extracting your wisdom teeth can alleviate tooth pain and significantly improve your overall dental health.
The good news is we have 9 tips for you to have a faster recovery and to keep you away from pain and discomfort after your procedure.
Before that, it’s essential to know how wisdom teeth extraction works and the things that you need to expect after your surgery.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the teeth at the back corners of your mouth. They usually come in 4 sets and usually appear for adults in ages 17 to 24. They are the last permanent teeth that grow in the mouth. Medically, they are called “third molars”.
According to anthropologists, wisdom teeth exist because our caveman ancestors needed them to accommodate chewing raw roots, nuts, meats, and leaves in their mouths. However, since then, humans have already developed utensils to mash, cut, and crush foods. Hence, modern humans don’t need them anymore!
Why Take Them Out?
While some people don’t develop wisdom teeth or that their wisdom teeth erupt naturally and cause no problems, many people experience impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that have no room to grow or erupt in the mouth to normally develop. It may grow towards the next tooth, the back of the mouth, or get trapped within the jawbone. If you fail to have this wisdom tooth pulled, you’ll likely experience intense pain, infection or gum disease, tooth damage, cyst development (around the wisdom tooth), and other orthodontic complications.
What Are the Effects of Wisdom Teeth Removal?
When wisdom teeth are removed, patients may expect to experience speaking and chewing difficulties, neck and head pains, lower jaw and neck motion difficulties, cheek scars (from biting them), behavioural changes, sound sensitivity, or thinking troubles. However, it’s essential to note that the effects of wisdom teeth extraction are different from its complications.
What Happens During Surgery?
Wisdom teeth surgery usually takes up to 45 minutes. During the surgery, you will get a local IV sedation or general anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. In most cases, doctors need to cut your gums to get to your wisdom teeth. Then, they’ll stitch the wounds (the stitches will dissolve for a couple of days) to heal very quickly.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
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Worrying about how long it would take for wisdom teeth removal to recover is okay, but people shouldn’t worry TOO much. A wisdom tooth extraction in Sarnia, or any city for that matter, guarantees its patients a fast recovery after the procedure.
However, how long does it really take to recover from wisdom teeth extraction?
After the procedure, you will be experiencing some pain, bruising, and swelling, which requires some time to heal. While wisdom teeth extraction recovery is gradual, you should see improvements every day. The healing process is as follows:
- Blood clots will start to form for the first 24 hours.
- Mouth and cheek swelling should get better for the next 2-3 days.
- The remaining stitches can be removed after 7 days.
- Stiffness and soreness in the jaw should be better in 7-10 days.
- Facial bruises should heal after 2 weeks.
9 Tips for Faster Recovery
The most important part of your recovery is making sure you don’t damage the stitches used to close your gum wounds and you don’t dislodge the blood clots from your wounds. Blood clots help protect the holes to heal faster and keep you from exposing your nerves that may lead to severe pain and risks of infection.
To help you do this, we have packed some complication-free and speedy recovery tips for you:
- Handle the Pain
As soon as the sedative loses its magic, you will feel the pain that might distract you from doing the usual things. To handle the pain, make sure to get over-the-counter painkillers that are recommended by your doctor. At home, you can wrap ice packs in a towel and apply them to your face every 20 minutes. This should help reduce the swelling on your face.
- Eat Soft Foods
While you won’t feel hungry after your surgery, you still need to eat. However, you need to take in foods that don’t require you to chew to ensure blood clots and stitches remain intact. To do this, eat soft foods like yogurt, soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and the like.
- Sip It!
Don’t use straws when drinking fluids. Instead, take short sips. Even for soups, avoid slurping it! Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine. Rather, drink plenty of water.
- Say NO to Hot Foods
Extremely hot foods can only increase the risks of burning your mouth, especially where the hole is located.
- Stick to the Recommended Diet
Your doctor may need to recommend a diet for your snacks and meals to ensure foods don’t get stuck on the site of your surgery or don’t dislodge the blood clot. Avoid taking foods such as crunchy, spicy, and chewy ones.
Whether you’re advised to rinse with salt water or a special rinse from your oral surgeon, you should never skip it. Rinsing can extremely help you with the healing process if you do these a few times a day after eating.
- Avoid Heavy Activities
Avoid strenuous activities especially when you’re not feeling up to them for the first 3 days. Pausing from your regular routines can help your body heal faster. Failure to do so can lead to more bleeding and swelling, which might actually delay your healing process.
- Avoid Smoking
Smoking after your surgery is a big NO-NO. Smoking can only dislodge the blood clots in your surgery site and can lead to extremely painful and dreaded dry sockets, which can even lead to infection and diseases.
- Take Medications
Your doctor will prescribe you some medications to ease the pain like painkillers or in worst cases, antibiotics. Don’t ever miss out on your medications and ensure to complete them for an effective and faster recovery.
However, when pain is still persistent after the expected recovery time, don’t hesitate to contact a downtown Ottawa dentist or from any clinic near you that you like.
If you take notes of these 9 tips, it’s actually possible for you to have a good experience after getting your wisdom teeth removed. These tips should also help you achieve a speedy and complication-free wisdom teeth extraction.