Wisdom Teeth Removal: A Care Guide

Wisdom Teeth Removal: A Care Guide

by Rismary Cabrera

What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Millions of people have one or more of their wisdom teeth removed every year. There is likely to be some discomfort and temporary swelling, but your dentist will prepare you for this with appropriate pain medications as well as any necessary antibiotics. Make certain you follow all the dentist’s instructions and take any prescribed medications exactly as directed.

Everyone is different; so it makes sense that people respond differently to oral surgery. Some patients report minimal discomfort, others more so.  It is normal to experience some amount of swelling and discomfort following the removal of their wisdom teeth.

The tissue of your mouth will probably be sore due to bruising from the procedure. You may also feel discomfort when trying to open or close your mouth. Soreness and jaw stiffness usually clear up in a matter of days. Some amount of blood may ooze out for a day or so after the wisdom tooth extraction.

Simple Ways to Help Your Body Heal Faster Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction

  • The first thing to be aware of is that wisdom tooth extraction is a surgery. As such, your body will need time to heal. You should set aside enough time to rest, usually about a week.
  • Make sure that when you sleep, you keep your head elevated above the rest of your body. This allows for better blood drainage and speeds healing.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash or spitting for at least 24 hours after your procedure. You should also avoid tobacco products during the same time period (or all together, for optimum oral health).
  • Make sure to eat only soft foods like applesauce, pudding or yogurt during the first 24 hours following your tooth extraction.  Try drinking ice cold coconut water as well. Studies have shown that coconut water helps balance electrolytes, which can speed healing as well as helping to maintain your blood sugar levels since you may not feel like eating much.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or coconut water. Make sure to avoid alcohol and sodas or other carbonated beverages for 24 hours after your oral surgery. Do not use a straw as it creates a vacuum and may loosen the natural blood clot formed over the hole. This can lead to a very painful condition called dry socket, or even an infection.
  • Jaw soreness can be treated by applying ice, but never heat, to the outside of your cheek on the side where the tooth has been removed. This aids in reducing swelling as well as pain. You can also gently massage the area along your jaw known as the masseter muscle. To find it place your fingers just in front of your ears. You will feel an indented area where the muscles attach. This can help the muscles relax, reducing pain around your jaw.

When to Call Your Dentist

If you notice excessive bleeding, the clot comes out, or you begin to notice pus in your mouth or nasal discharge, are having difficulty swallowing or breathing, or start running a fever, contact your dentist or oral surgeon right away.

The friendly staff at Binder Family Dental in Eugene understand that wisdom tooth extraction is never fun, but inevitable for the majority of growing adults. Take solace in understanding that it’s a common procedure, with years of technique to minimize pain and complications. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth extraction or other dental care, please give us a call at (541) 689-1645 or Request an appointment online today.