What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Extractions and 6 Steps to Help You Heal Faster

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girl with a pretty smileThere may come a point in your life when your dentist recommends having your wisdom teeth removed. If this is the case, don’t sweat it! Countless adults have had their wisdom teeth removed successfully; in fact, it’s sort of seen as a right of passage into adulthood. You will just want to take extra care of yourself after the procedure to help hasten your recovery and prevent any complications.

When it comes to what to expect after the procedure, most patients will experience temporary discomfort, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. But don’t worry! Most patients recover quite quickly. You can, too, especially when you follow these 6 tips:

Tackle Swelling Effectively – You can expect to have some swelling after the procedure, but you can take steps to help reduce it. Apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently to reduce the swelling. We recommend 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for up to 2 days. If your tooth happened to be infected before the surgery, we may ask you to use a warm, moist compress instead of ice. Check with us first!

Use Gauze Pads to Stop Bleeding – A little bit of bleeding will happen, but you can use gauze pads to help taper it off. Keep a gauze pad over the extraction site for 30 minutes after the procedure. If you happen to be bleeding a little more heavily, you can bite down on the gauze pad or put your fingers over the pad for 30 minutes.

Stop Dry Sockets Before They Start – The most common preventable complication that can arise from wisdom teeth extraction is dry sockets. These can develop when the newly-formed blood clot in your socket is dislodged and dissipates, causing pain, bad breath, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, swollen lymph nodes, and a low-grade fever. You can help prevent dry sockets by rinsing your mouth with salt water after you eat, not touching the extraction site, and resting for the remainder of the day. Make sure to brush your teeth carefully the night of the surgery while avoiding the surgical area.

Eat and Drink the Right Things – Once the bleeding stops, you will be able to drink plenty of lukewarm or cold liquids. You can eat regular meals, but you will need to be careful with what you eat. Begin with clear liquids and soft foods such as eggs, gelatins, puddings, mashed potatoes, and cooked cereals. Liquefied meat, vegetables, and fruits can also work. We suggest avoiding soda, popcorn, peanuts, and pasta to help protect your mouth.

Be Smart With Medications – Make sure that you take the medication that is prescribed to you. If we’ve given you a narcotic pain medication, you’ll need to avoid driving, operating machinery, and drinking alcoholic beverages.

Know When to Call Us – Any pain, discomfort, and swelling you may experience should get better every day. If you find that the swelling is worsening, or if you have excessive bleeding that won’t stop, throbbing pain 3 to 4 days after surgery, or an elevated, persistent fever, make sure to call us!

Need to get your wisdom teeth removed? Want to schedule your biannual cleaning? Request your appointment with us by calling (618) 288-9670 or by visiting us online at www.foleydentalgroup.com!