You might need to have your wisdom teeth removed for a number of reasons. They could be impacted—trapped in your jaw bone or gums; there might not be enough space in your mouth to accommodate the new teeth; or they might be erupting at a wrong angle.
Whatever the reason for extraction, wisdom teeth removal is a minor surgical procedure. Thanks to sedation, you will only experience mild discomfort, but no pain.
Here are 4 dos and don’ts to follow after your wisdom teeth removal for speedy recovery.
Ice is your Friend
After the extraction, your gums will be swollen. Placing an ice pack on your cheek for the first 24 hours can help reduce swelling. Ice packs might not help after the first day though, but the swelling won’t last more than a few days.
Rest; You Deserve It
Since you may not be able to consume solid foods for the first 24 hours, you may be feeling a bit weak. It’s good to rest and take fluids. Avoid any strenuous activity. If your procedure was more complicated and you were given general anesthesia, don’t drive for the first 48 hours. Stay at home, relax and recover!
Avoid Dry Socket
After your surgery, a blood clot forms on the wound in order to heal it. This clot is important because it prevents your jaw bone from being exposed. It can easily get removed, especially during the first 24 hours. If it does, your bone will be exposed. This condition is called dry socket. You can avoid it easily though as long as you:
- Don’t drink from a straw. The sucking motion when you drink from a straw can dislodge the blood clot.
- Don’t rinse or brush rigorously. This can displace the blood clot.
- Don’t place dry gauze on the wound. Your dentist might tell you to bite down on gauze in the wound area, to keep it covered. If you do so, make sure the gauze is wet. Otherwise, the blood clot will get stuck on the dry gauze and come off when you change/remove it.
Rinse Away Your Chances of Infection
Regular rinsing after 24 hours is important to avoid an infection. Add a little salt to lukewarm water and use that to gently rinse your mouth. After the first day, make sure you brush and floss regularly to maintain your oral hygiene.
You can get an infection even weeks after the procedure, so be extra careful until everything has healed properly. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, don’t discontinue them till you’ve completed the required course.