You may be needing to get your wisdom teeth removed for a number of reasons such as overcrowding, cavities, infections, and mouth pain. No matter the cause of needing to get them extracted, millions of wisdom teeth are removed without incident and people are left feeling more comfortable after the procedure. While the thought of taking the teeth out is less than appealing, many times the extraction is the only way that the current or future issues can be handled. If you were to have any questions about the procedure, you must ask your dentist or oral surgeon them beforehand so that you can prepare for the surgery. After surgery, it is common to encounter some discomfort, swelling, and pain. However, there are ways you can speed up the recovery to start feeling better in a shorter time frame. Here are tips for recovering after wisdom tooth extraction.
Preparing for your recovery ahead of time is important to ensure that you have a smooth recovery. The best way you can prepare for a wisdom tooth extraction so is by talking to a professional about what you should expect. They will have a list of guidelines that you must follow about the recovery process and what you will need to do. It is critical that the list is read in advance to the surgery as well to make sure that you have time to go over anything you are unclear about with your dentist before surgery. You do not want to find out an important piece of information on the day of your extraction, leaving you unprepared. Schedule the surgery when you know you will be able to have a few days off afterward for recovery. As well, you will need someone to assist you with getting home and even have them stay with you the remainder of the day after the procedure is done. Having a person who is well versed on what they must do to ensure that you do not rip open your stitches and since you will still be high on the anesthesia, you will most likely be unable to take proper care of yourself.
Rest As Much As Possible
As much as you will want to return to your normal everyday routine, you will need to take things slowly during the recovery process. It is important that you keep your head elevated for the first three days as you sleep. To keep your head elevated, you should keep a good amount of pillows under your head and keep your body close to a 45-degree angle if possible. Doing so will help you recover faster from the wisdom tooth extraction since blood vessel tone/blood volume near the wound can increase as you are lying flat, but since your head will be elevated, you will not feel any throbbing. In addition, keeping your head elevated can help reduce swelling. If you wish to reduce any possible pain that may occur after waking up, you can take the normal pain relief that you use for any sort of situation.
Prevent Dry Socket
Once the extraction of the tooth is completed, your body will instantly begin to heal itself and it does so by forming a blood clot over the site of the removal to protect both the tissue and bone underneath. Keeping the blood clot in its place is extremely important because if it becomes dislodged for any reason, it can cause dry socket, which is a condition where tremendous pain occurs as the underlying bone is exposed. Dry socket can occur as a result of activities such as sipping through a straw and swishing mouthwash. Gauze will be given to you once the surgery is complete and once it is time to replace it, make sure to soak the new gauze in water before putting it in your mouth. Failure to do so can cause the gauze to stick to the clot and pull it out.
What To Eat/Drink
After surgery, stick to a diet consisting of only liquids. You should gradually begin to eat solid foods, though, starting with softer foods like pudding. It is important to stay away from spicy/hot foods and avoid straws as they can slow down the recovery process. As well, you should make sure to drink water to ensure that you remain hydrated while also making sure that your mouth does not dry out. Dryness can disturb the pH balance of your mouth and allow cavity-causing bacteria to grow, increasing the possibility of a infection. Drinking specialized water can provide unforeseen benefits for your recovery and one such example is coconut water. Coconut water aids in keeping blood sugar levels stable and replenish electrolytes while you are unable to eat solid foods. These elements being in balance provides your body the chance to focus more on healing than anything else. In addition, drinking the coconut water, or any water, at a cold temperature can soothe any inflammation.
Massaging And Icing Your Mouth
During wisdom tooth extraction, your mouth is held in an widely open position for a long period of time, which can lead to facial pain and cramped or sore muscles. One muscle in the jaw that gets particularly prone to soreness is the masseter, a muscle that helps with chewing. Massaging this area post-surgery can help with recovery as it releases unnecessary tension in your jaw. You can find this muscle by placing your fingers just before the opening of each ear and you can massage here gently for a few minutes at a time. Cold temperatures can help reduce any swelling and inflammation that may occur post-surgery which is why applying ice close to the extraction can help with the pain. You must wrap the ice in a piece of cloth as to not cause any ice burns and only hold the ice to the area for about twenty minutes. There are also head wraps that exist that offer you a hands free way to applying the ice to your jaw.