General Dentistry Wisdom Teeth

For some people, wisdom teeth recovery is an easy process. For others, it can be a long and painful journey. There are many reasons why someone may have difficulties with their recovery from wisdom teeth removal surgery, including the type of anaesthesia used during the procedure, how healthy a person’s mouth was before the oral surgery, or if they could not get enough sleep following their procedure. 

In this blog post, we will explore what you need to know about your recovery after having your wisdom teeth removed and what steps you should take in order to recover as quickly as possible. We will also discuss things you should avoid doing so that you don’t cause any unnecessary damage or pain. If you’re one of those people who has been dreading getting dental work done on your wisdom teeth, you’ve come to the right place. It’s time to get that anxiety out of your system and learn what the recovery process is all about.

The extraction of wisdom teeth may occasionally cause discomfort, swelling, and bruising. While the healing process will take time, it should be gradual and progress following the major surgery.

  • First 24 hours – Blood clots are likely to form.
  • First 3 days – There should be a reduction in swelling in the mouth and cheeks.
  • 7 days after the surgery – You can have any remaining stitches removed by a dentist. Soreness and stiffness in the jaw should subside.
  • 2 weeks after the surgery – Minor facial bruises are healed. 

Each individual’s recovery time will be different. If blood clots are dislodged from the surgical wound or if the wound becomes infected, healing time might be considerably longer.

What Should I Do After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

  • The dentist or surgeon can provide patients with specific instructions on how to recover quickly. The doctor will prescribe what pain medication to use and how long they’ll need to take them to speed up the recovery process.
  • You will be encouraged to bite on a gauze pad in the extraction zone for 30 minutes.
  • Ice packs are a great way to reduce swelling and discomfort while healing. If your dentist suggests using one, you should hold it against the outside of your face over the extraction site for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to reduce swelling.
  • If you have just undergone an operation and been given a general anesthetic, you will be unable to drive for approximately 48 hours. Take one or two days off of work or school to recuperate after surgery. 
  • Patients may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to assist with severe pain and discomfort following wisdom tooth surgery. Ibuprofen is available over the counter or online.
  • You can slowly do your daily activities, but avoid doing any strenuous activity as it may affect the healing process.

What Food Can You Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

A soft diet should be followed after surgery to help heal the wound and limit any discomfort. By taking liquid food or soft food post-surgery, you’re less likely to chew, which can put unnecessary strain on your mouth area during the recovery period. Your dental professional may also recommend avoiding hard foods as they are more difficult for our mouths when healing. It’s best to stick with this diet for a couple of days to a week and ask about other options before starting anything new.

 Some of these foods include:

What Foods to Avoid After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Avoid foods that need chewing for the first few days after dental surgery to aid healing. Sticky candy, gum, crunchy food, nuts, or seeds might get trapped in surgical sites and cause significant discomfort and damage. Hard and crunchy meals should be avoided since they will irritate the sensitive gum tissue. Also, avoid taking hot food and spicy food within 24 hours as they might cause discomfort and burning of the sensitive gum tissue. 

Stay away from caffeinated drinks, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and hot beverages as well.  In addition, do not suck heavily from a spoon or drink from a straw as it may dislodge the blood clot. 

If one or two wisdom teeth were taken from the same side, chewing on the opposite side of your mouth may be feasible 24 hours after surgery in some instances. You may start eating solid food at any time if you’re ready.

Possible Complications That Can Happen After the Removal of Your Wisdom Teeth

Dry Socket – One of the most frequent post-surgical problems is dry socket (alveolar osteitis). It’s when a blood clot fails to form in the tooth socket or if it gets displaced or disappears. It might occur 3 to 5 days after surgery.

An empty socket causes intense throbbing or aching in your gum or jaw, which might be similar to a toothache. The empty tooth socket may have an unpleasant odour or taste. If you look into the socket, you might notice exposed bone instead of a blood clot.

You are more likely to develop a dry socket if:

  • You ignore your dentist’s advice after an extraction
  • You smoke tobacco and cigarettes
  • It’s a condition you’ve had before
  • You’re over the age of 25
  • It was a complicated extraction 

Do not delay seeing your dentist or surgeon if you suspect you have a dry socket. They can remove any debris from the socket and cover it with a medicated dressing that may be removed and replaced regularly until it heals. 

Bleeding – Even when a wisdom tooth extraction is successful, minor bleeding is normal within 48 hours. It’s expected that your mouth will produce a lot of saliva in an attempt to stay wet and combat infections.

To prevent dislodging the blood clot from the socket, avoid excessive spitting. As your dentist or oral surgeon directs, replace the gauze over the extraction site and bite firmly into it to restrict blood and saliva.

If the excessive bleeding does not stop, double-check that the gauze is on top of the surgical site. Apply gentle pressure to the affected area by pressing your fingers against it rather than clenching your adult teeth.

Infection Wisdom tooth removal is a surgical procedure that may produce infection in some cases. If you have a dry or empty socket, food particles and bacteria accumulate in the area. As a result, it causes infection, discomfort, and swelling. Therefore, after the initial swelling period of about 2 to 3 days, any continued swelling and discomfort may indicate infection.

You may have a fever or feel unwell. Pus may drain from the infected socket, leaving a foul taste in your mouth. 

Remaining Fragments and Roots – During the extraction process, it’s not unusual for a tooth to fracture or splinter. The most prevalent intraoperative issue is root fracture, which occurs in 9 to 20% of cases.

Before a tooth breaks, a dentist may choose to cut it into parts known as “sectioning” to make extraction easier.

In any case, shards or fragments can be left behind during the extraction process. Such consequences can cause pain and infection.

How to Manage Pain After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The application of a cold compress and the usage of pain relief medications are two of the most efficient methods to reduce swelling and alleviate severe discomfort. To avoid ice burns, don’t apply ice directly to the face. In addition, you will be instructed if you should use prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Antibiotics will be given to you by your dentist to prevent any risk of infection while you heal. The entire course of these medicines must be followed precisely as directed.

Learn More: Ways to Relieve the Pain from Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Common Home Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain After Surgery

The pain from wisdom teeth extraction can be unbearable. You may use over-the-counter medical treatments and natural at-home remedies to relieve the discomfort. 

Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal painkiller that helps reduce inflammation. You may find that taking the recommended dose reduces pain. Additionally, it works to reduce gum inflammation due to wisdom tooth development.

 Ice Pack: Inflammation and pain can be relieved with a cold compress since the ice has a numbing effect. For up to 15 minutes each time, hold the cold pack against the jaw, taking breaks when needed.

Warm salt water rinse: Saltwater rinses can reduce bacteria in the mouth, according to a 2010 study. Salt has natural disinfecting properties, which is why it helps treat an infection.

A saltwater rinse can be prepared by adding a teaspoon of salt to a  cup of warm water. Several minutes after the saltwater mixture has somewhat cooled, swish it around your mouth and spit it out. Repeat this process two to three times each day until the pain has diminished.

When Should You Visit a Dentist?

The recovery process after wisdom teeth surgery is different for each patient, depending on how many of their wisdom teeth were removed. Keep in mind that each individual’s body is unique and has a varied healing time.

If pain levels become severe after the first ten days following surgery or if there are signs of infection like a fever or swelling appear, contact your dentist immediately. However, if you can manage discomfort with an over-the-counter pain reliever, it is usually okay to wait until your next regularly scheduled dental visit.

You probably need a dental exam and an X-ray to determine what’s causing the pain because the affected area is difficult to see.

Be aware of the following symptoms:

Final Thoughts

Wisdom teeth can be a painful and challenging process, but we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a dentist who knows how to help your wisdom tooth extraction recovery process go as smoothly and pain-free as possible, then contact us today. 

Our dentists at Burwood Dental Care have the experience needed to ensure that no matter what stage of healing you’ve reached in the post – surgery period, we can provide effective oral health treatment so you can feel comfortable again. Don’t let tooth extraction or any other dental procedure get in the way of enjoying your daily life. Give our team a call today at (03) 7003 2011 and see if we’re right for you.

Dental Restrictions Officially Lifted As of 22/10/21

As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

Learn More