When wisdom teeth erupt inappropriately, they can cause a lot of complications such as impaction, infection or in the worst case, oral cancer. And when these issues occur, 67th Street Dental suggests extracting the wisdom tooth. There are a number of reasons why your dentist may recommend to get your wisdom tooth removed.
If you are reading this because you are preparing for wisdom tooth surgery, you must have heard some scary recovery stories as well. We want to put your mind at ease. Many people have wisdom tooth surgery every year. At 67th Street Dental, we perform many surgeries every year without any post-operative issues. Still, to avoid the chances of any issues, here’s what we suggest you to do after the extraction procedure.
1. Plan Ahead
Be ready, and plan for the recovery before your surgery. Before having the oral surgery, speak to your dentist about what to expect during and after the procedure. The dentist will explain how you will mostly feel after the surgery and also provide you with a list of guidelines to follow. Based on the guidelines, set a date when you will be able to follow all the guidelines mentioned. Schedule your surgery in a way that you get a few days off for recovery following wisdom teeth removal.
2. Rest as Much as Possible
In order to have a faster recovery and resume your normal life as quickly as possible, you need to rest after the surgery. Relax as much as possible with your head elevated by pillows. Avoid sitting much for a day or two at least. You can start sitting for longer after two days, but still, lie down more. Don’t exercise or lift anything heavy for the first few days as doing so will only put pressure on your oral nerves.
3. Prevent Dry Socket
Your body will begin the work of healing itself immediately after the surgery. Healing includes forming a blood clot over the extraction site to prevent excess blood loss and protect the bone underneath. Keeping this blood clot in place is vital. If the clot gets dislodged and the underlying bone is exposed, it can cause tremendous pain and may even lead to infections. Your dentist will give you a gauze to bite down right after the surgery. Make sure you keep it in place with your teeth. When it’s time to replace it, soak the new gauze in the water before putting in your mouth to avoid dry socket.
4. Apply an Ice Pack
An ice pack can help in reducing swelling and inflammation. Hence, we, at 67th Street Dental, recommended our patients to apply an ice pack to the cheek close to the extraction site. Do it for about 20 minutes at a time to prevent ice burns on your cheek.
A word of caution: Never apply heat to this area as heat can increase the blood flow to the area which increases the chances of pain and swelling.
5. Keep Your Head Elevated for the First Three Days
Keep your head elevated by using a lot of pillows, so your upper body is close to a 45-degree angle. This technique can help you recover faster from the wisdom tooth surgery as blood won’t accumulate near the extraction site. Additionally, elevating your head also reduces swelling. Using an airline pillow is an easy and effective way to keep your head comfortably elevated when you are in an upright position. Read this article to know the ways to sleep after having wisdom tooth surgery.
6. Watch What You Eat
Stick to a diet recommended by the dentist. This includes having liquids right after your surgery. Add solid foods only after four days. You may start with soft foods like pudding. Stay away from sharp-tasting, sour, acidic, spicy, hot, and excessively sweet foods as these foods can irritate the site. Avoid using straws as sucking with a straw applies pressure to the surgery site and may hinder the healing process.
7. Massage Your Masseter Muscle
During your surgery, your mouth is held wide open for an extended period. It can contribute to myofascial pain and cramped or sore muscles which will prevent you from chewing later. Massaging this area post surgery will help you recover faster. Massage releases some of the unnecessary tension that might hold in your jaw muscles. In order to find this muscle and know where to massage, place your fingers just before the opening of each ear. Massage the area gently for a few minutes at a time.
8. Drink Ice-Cold Coconut Water
Coconut water not only helps you stay hydrated but also keeps you satiated during the recovery phase. Coconut water helps you to stabilize your blood sugar and replenish electrolytes when you are unable to eat solid, healthy foods. Having balanced levels of nutrients in your body helps heal from wisdom tooth surgery faster. Icy cold coconut water can also soothe a lingering inflammation.
Smart trick: If you want to get the benefits of coconut water, but don’t wish to drink it straight, try mixing it in a smoothie of greens and healthy fats.
9. Listen to Your Oral Surgeon
Your dentist will give you some instructions apart from these suggestions. Make sure to follow those as well. To heal as quickly as possible, 67th Street Dental suggests you to always listen to your oral surgeon’s instructions.
Wisdom tooth surgery is a common and a safe procedure. If you follow your dentist or surgeon’s detailed advice and consider the tips mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to healing in no time.