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What Should Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery Look Like?

Illustration of a mouth with a partially impacted wisdom tooth that needs to be extracted

Wisdom teeth, which are the third molars at the very back of your jaw, are the last teeth to erupt. Many people don’t have enough room for these teeth so they can come in at an angle or become impacted beneath the gums. We often recommend extraction before these molars start causing problems. Here are some tips to promote a smooth recovery after your wisdom tooth extraction:

  1. Get Plenty of Rest
  2. Rest is essential after wisdom tooth extraction. Avoid strenuous exercise, bending over, and lifting heavy objects for several days. Working out raises your blood pressure, which makes the extraction wounds more likely to bleed. Though you may be feeling much better after just a week, it can take a few weeks to recover completely.

  3. Use an Ice Pack for the First 48-72 Hours
  4. After a wisdom tooth extraction, you will likely experience swelling. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for the first 2-3 days after surgery. Depending on how well you tolerate the cold, try keeping it on for 20 minutes and then off for 10-20 minutes, then repeat. Sleeping and resting propped up with an extra pillow will also help control any swelling.

  5. Wait to Rinse Your Mouth
  6. After oral surgery, you shouldn’t rinse your mouth, swish, or spit for 24 hours. You can start gentle rinses the day after surgery. Slowly increase the vigorousness of your rinsing and swishing throughout the rest of the week.

  7. Drink Lots of Water & Eat Soft Foods
  8. Hydration helps your body heal. You’ll need to drink lots of water. Fruit smoothies without seeds can also help you stay hydrated. Don’t drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, or super hot liquids. Straws can dislodge the blood clots at the extraction sites so don’t use them. As for food, you want to stick with soft foods like yogurt, lukewarm soup, scrambled eggs, noodles, mashed potatoes, bananas, and applesauce for the first few days.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction at CarolinasDentist

We understand that getting your wisdom teeth removed may sound scary! But our team uses advanced tools, modern techniques, and calming dental sedation to help you be as comfortable as possible throughout your procedure. And we will provide specific post-care instructions so you’ll know exactly what to expect after your procedure. If you have questions or want to book an appointment, please contact us today!

Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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