Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to appear in your mouth. They usually break through your gums in your late teenage years or early twenties. However, as is often the case, there isn’t enough room in your mouth for their eruption; people’s jaws are often too small for wisdom teeth to grow correctly. When this happens, your wisdom teeth may become “impacted,” which can cause problems and various symptoms that can make your daily life very uncomfortable.
Impacted wisdom teeth may lead to future pain, cysts, gum disease, decay, and infection. Identifying impacted teeth is vital before any complications arise and make the wisdom tooth extraction process more complicated.
If your dentist spots these problems, they may advise you to remove them. Even if there are no underlying symptoms or discomfort, your dentist will walk you through the benefits of removing your impacted wisdom teeth. This complication does not only cause you pain and discomfort, but it also interferes with your dental care.
We often discuss the wisdom tooth extraction process but seldom emphasize its aftercare. Brock North Dental has created this entry to guide you through post-wisdom teeth extraction aftercare and what to expect after this very common dental procedure.
What to Expect After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
After getting any wisdom teeth extracted, you will likely experience pain the first 48 hours after the procedure. Stitches typically dissolve in 7-10 days. However, it is crucial that you take care of your oral hygiene and listen to your dentist’s recommendations on how to proceed after the minor surgery.
Your dentist may place a gauze over the removal site and ask you to maintain pressure by biting down on the gauze for about an hour or so. This allows blood clots to form in the tooth socket to accelerate healing.
You may also experience post-procedural swelling that will slowly subside after the procedure. Stiffness of your jaw and difficulty opening your mouth are also expected after wisdom tooth extraction but usually disappear after a few days. In the first 24-48 hours after your surgery, you might experience some light bleeding.
The Aftercare Process
Your dentist will specify everything you need to know about wisdom tooth removal aftercare. Following their instructions is essential to ensure a proper healing process and avoid complications like infections. After your extraction, makes sure you:
- Use your painkillers (like Ibuprofen and Tylenol) as prescribed by your dental care specialist.
- Continue your antibiotics if prescribed, following your dentist’s instructions.
- Your dentist will most likely use anesthesia. The numbness will slowly wear off. Be careful not to bite the inside of your cheeks or touch your inner surgical incisions.
- Avoid any strenuous exercise.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol at least 24 hours after your procedure. They will slow down the healing process and make you more prone to infections.
- Avoid rinsing, spitting, hot drinks, or anything that could dislodge the blood clots in the empty tooth socket.
- When lying down, prop your head up on two pillows.
- Brush your teeth very carefully with a child’s toothbrush, or use warm (not hot) salt water or any mouthwash solution your dentist provides.
- Stick to a soft or liquid diet at least 48 hours after the procedure.
- Avoid sharp, scratchy, or sticky food, like chewing gum, ice, and chips.
- To diminish swelling, you may use a cold compress on your cheeks.
- Be on the lookout for other symptoms like fever or worsening swelling and discomfort. If this happens, contact your dentist immediately.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions Are Common.
It’s essential to regularly visit your dentist to avoid dental complications that might arise from impacted wisdom teeth. Regular checkups prevent problems like gum disease and infections.
Your dentist will inform you if you’re a candidate for wisdom teeth removal surgery. However, it’s not only the surgical process that’s important. Your wisdom teeth removal aftercare is just as crucial as the procedure, ensuring you recover as quickly as possible.
It’s essential to help your body heal with as many tools as possible. If you require wisdom teeth removal or are experiencing symptoms related to impacted wisdom teeth, call Brock North Dental today and book an appointment.