Patients who have been told that they have to have their wisdom tooth removed, always have two main areas of concern. The first is what happens during the procedure. The second is what they can expect to feel afterward. Your dentist will answer all your questions and concerns during your consultation and prior to starting the procedure. It’s best to make sure you receive answers for all your questions before going ahead.
Almost five million Americans go through the extraction of their wisdom tooth/teeth every year. While it seems like almost a rite of passage for many teens, it is actually a serious surgical procedure. Proper care needs to be taken following the extraction to ensure quick recovery.
It can take up to two weeks for your mouth to completely heal, but the first four days are the most important. The initial six hours after the anesthetic wears off are when you need to be extra careful.
To help you heal quickly, here are some protective measures:
Smoking restricts the blood supply to the mouth which is necessary for effective healing of the tissues. Also, the sucking action increases the risk of a painful complication called dry socket in which the underlying bone is left unprotected by a blood clot that normally develops as part of the healing process.
You will be told to not brush for the first day. After that you can brush but very gently. For that first day you could rinse with a solution of saline water using 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water.
Physical activities like working out, playing sports, or lifting can dislodge the blood clot from the area which is protecting the bone and nerve below the gum. The loss of this blood clot can seriously affect the infection-free healing period.
For the first week, only eat soft foods such as scrambled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft pastas, and applesauce. Abstain from chewy, hard and sugary foods. Make sure to drink lots of water while avoiding sugary drinks. After the first week, you should be able to gradually reintroduce hard foods into your diet.
Usually swelling stops increasing by the third day after the extraction. If it does not dissipate, and pain and bleeding persist, call your dentist. You may need to have the area examined to determine the cause.
The key to an infection and incident-free recovery from wisdom tooth extraction is to follow the post-surgical instructions given to you by your dentist. If you have any questions or concerns, or wish to book an appointment with Dr. Sibia, call Ace Dental at (916) 226-4437.