You’ve had that pain in the back of your mouth for a while, and you’ve decided to do something about it. Wisdom teeth can cause serious pain and dental issues if there is no room for them to grow into your gums.
While removing wisdom teeth is a common procedure, it’s also a serious surgical process. So it’s important that post-op, you take the proper steps to aid your recovery.
Here’s how to decrease unnecessary pain and avoid complications or infections with your wisdom tooth removal care guide.
On the Day of Surgery
Because wisdom tooth removal is a serious procedure, it’s important to take the post-op recommendations from your dentist seriously. On the day of your surgery, these are some recommendations to promote proper healing.
After your surgery, it’s important that you restrict your activities for the rest of the day and the days following days. For the rest of the days, you should take it easy and relax.
Avoid touching the wound and vigorously rinsing your mouth so you don’t introduce bacteria that can cause an infection or disturb the stitches. Thirty minutes after your surgery, you can remove surgical gauze or pad.
To ease some of the pain, you may want to apply an ice pack to the cheek outside the surgery site. If your dentist prescribed any pain medication, you could take it if you begin to feel any discomfort or pain.
Although it may be alarming, a little bit of blood, oozing, and/or redness is common. If you have excessive bleeding, you can place gauze over the wound and biting firmly. In thirty minutes, the bleeding should be controlled.
After this, if bleeding continues, try biting on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. Tannic acid, which occurs in tea, can help blood clot by contracting the blood vessels.
However, if bleeding occurs after this, come back into your dentist’s office or go to an emergency room after hours.
Swelling and Pain
Unfortunately, with wisdom tooth removal will come swelling and pain. Most likely, your gums, cheeks, and mouth will swell following your surgery. In some cases, the sides of your face or eyes can swell too.
Swelling will typically occur the day after surgery and reach its maximum peak two or three days after the procedure. There is no need to be alarmed since swelling is the body’s standard reaction to surgery.
With swelling often comes pain. You may feel pain or discomfort when resting or moving your jaw. However, pain and discomfort should lessen with each subsequent day.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
After wisdom teeth removal, it’s vital to keep your mouth clean. This helps flush out your gums and prevent infection. On the night of your surgery, you can brush your teeth, but make sure to brush and rinse gently.
The next day post-surgery, begin rinsing five or six times a day with a cup of warm water with an added teaspoon of salt. Do this, especially after you eat or drink.
Post Operation Diet
After your surgery, you should hydrate, especially when put under general anesthesia or IV sedation. You’ll want to sip from a glass rather than from a straw. Sucking from a straw can cause more bleeding.
Stay hydrated by intaking fluids often. Start by eating soft foods as your jaw will be sore. Do your best to chew away from your surgical sites. Since you will have to limit your food intake, compensate by increasing your fluids.
As you recover, you’ll want to have food high in protein to support your healing. Try not to miss meals but don’t overexert yourself trying to eat.
Discoloration or Bruising
As unsightly and alarming as discoloration may be, it is a normal part of the post-operative healing process. When blood spreads beneath the tissues, you may see black and blue or even green or yellow discoloration around your jaw.
Discoloration can appear within two or three days after the surgery. And may take up to two weeks to resolve itself. You should avoid sun exposure while the discoloration resolves.
It’s imperative that if you were placed on antibiotics, to take them as directed. They may come in the form of tablets or liquids, depending on what your dentist prescribed.
Antibiotics help prevent infection, and therefore you should finish the entire course that is prescribed even if you feel better. Discontinue use only in the event of a rash or unfavorable reaction.
If you do have a reaction, reach out to your dentist with questions.
Nausea and Vomiting
With IV sedation, anesthesia, or oral pain medication, two common side effects include nausea and vomiting.
If you feel nauseated or are vomiting after your surgery, do not take anything orally for at minimum an hour, including prescribed pain medicine.
After an hour, try sipping on ginger ale, tea, or coke over a fifteen-minute period. If nausea subsides, you can try taking solid foods and prescribed pain medicine.
However, if the nausea or vomiting does not subside or resolve, contact your dentist’s office or go to the emergency room if it’s after hours.
Other Potential Complications
Mentioned above are some of the more common post-operation occurrences. However, you may experience several other complications after wisdom tooth extraction.
Here are a few more common complications, so you are prepared for the best wisdom teeth removal care. You may experience:
- Temporary numbness of the lips, tongue, or cheek
- A slight elevation in temperature immediately after surgery
- Dizziness or feeling light-headed
- Feeling hard projections caused by bony walls
- Dry or cracked lips and mouth corners
- Sore throats or pain with swallowing
- Stiff jaw muscles
All of these symptoms are normal following surgery for about two or three days after. However, if there are any persistent issues, you should notify your dentist as soon as possible.
The Definitive Post Surgery Wisdom Tooth Removal Care Guide
It’s a procedure that most adults will have to endure. Though common and routine, wisdom tooth removal is as serious of a surgery as any major procedure.
To prevent infections or complications and promote proper healing, it’s imperative to follow the steps in this wisdom tooth removal care guide. With a healing and recovery time of two weeks, you’ll be back to yourself in no time.
If you’ve found this guide helpful, check out more health articles on the blog today!