7 Tips to Recover Post Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth usually try to erupt into the mouth between 17 to 21 years of age. We may recommend that they be extracted then or even prior to age 17 if they:
- Are misaligned
- Crowd other teeth
- Are trapped or partially trapped,
- Cause an infection, swelling, cyst, or pain
- Erupt at a wrong angle
Unfortunately, many people delay removing their wisdom teeth. However, remember that your wisdom teeth roots grow longer and harden in the jaw as you get older. This makes the extraction even more difficult, and it may take longer to heal. Therefore, it is generally recommended to undergo wisdom teeth extraction before you turn 25 years old.
How Long Will It Takes to Heal from Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
It usually takes one week to remove stitches; sometimes, surgery-induced swelling, bruising, and pain will also take a week or two to heal.
The healing process includes the following stages:
- In the First 24 Hours – Blood clots will form
- After 2 to 3 Days – Swelling of the cheeks and mouth will subside
- After One Week – Your dentist will remove the stitches
- Within 7 to 10 Days – Jaw stiffness and soreness will subside
- After 2 Weeks–Any mild bruising on the face will heal
What Should You Do After Surgery? Tips to Recover Post Wisdom Tooth Extraction
It can take one to two weeks to recover from wisdom teeth extraction, depending on your condition and overall health. To speed up your healing, follow these wisdom teeth removal recovery tips:
1. Keep Your Head Elevated for the First 3 Days
Blood vessel tone and blood volume near the wound increase when you are lying flat, making it throb. Therefore, keep your head elevated when you sleep to reduce swelling and recover faster.
2. Apply an Ice Pack to Your Cheeks
Consistently applying an ice pack to your cheeks (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off) for the first 36 hours after surgery can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
3. Prevent Dry Sockets
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms on the extraction site is dislodged. Though it is most common during 2 to 3 days after extraction, a dry socket can be painful and delay healing.
The following are a few tips that will help prevent a dry socket:
- It’s best to moisten new gauze pads in water before placing them on the extraction site. If you place a dry gauze pad in the mouth, do not remove it while “dry”, it can pull out a blood clot.
- Avoid vigorous rinsing, smoking, kissing, drinking through a straw, or any action involving suction
- Eat soft foods
- Use prescribed antibiotics
- Don’t remove the gauze until you are ready to replace it
4. Massage Your Jaw
During wisdom teeth extraction, your mouth is held wide open for a long time, resulting in a condition called temporary trismus or lockjaw that involves cramped or sore muscles and myofascial pain. The masseter, one of the muscles that help you chew, is prone to soreness after the surgery. Massaging this muscle will release the tension in your jaw, helping you to recover faster.
5. Reduce Inflammation
Preventing inflammation is the key to control pain in the extraction site. Inflammation might increase after 48 hours, so make sure to take any prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to reduce it.
6. Drink Coconut Water
You may consider drinking coconut water; it can nourish and hydrate your body and soothe your gum inflammation. It also helps stabilize your blood sugar level and replenish electrolytes when you are unable to eat solid foods, contributing to faster recovery.
7. Rinse with Salt Water
After the first 48 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water a few times daily to keep your wound clean.
- Some other tips that you can follow to recover post wisdom tooth extraction are:
- Get photobiomodulation therapy to reduce pain, swelling, and trismus
- Don’t let your mouth dry out
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid overusing medications
At your one-week post-op check, we may dispense an irrigating syringe to use in the extraction sites to keep them clean of food debris until fully healed.
Visit our team if you experience intense pain around your wisdom teeth or need removal.