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Wisdom Teeth Recovery: Expectations, post-operative care, and healing after surgery

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Whether your back molars are impacted or misaligned, wisdom teeth surgery can relieve pain and eliminate risks. But what should you expect after wisdom teeth surgery?

What is Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Wisdom tooth surgery is a surgical procedure performed by dentists or oral surgeons to remove one or more back molars. These adult teeth are the last to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. So, they may not find enough room to grow. Congestion on your jaws can lead to several dental issues like misalignment and impacted growth. Your Toronto dentist or oral surgeon will recommend wisdom teeth surgery to extract affected molars to relieve pain and reduce risks. It is an outpatient surgical procedure. So, you visit a dental office, get the tooth removed, and leave a few hours later. Your dentist or oral surgeon will use local anesthesia before extracting the tooth to ensure you don’t feel any pain.

Here is everything you need to know about wisdom tooth extraction aftercare and recovery:

How do you take care of yourself after wisdom teeth removal?

Although local anesthesia wears off quickly, it is safer to take a taxi or find someone to drive you home after a wisdom tooth extraction. You can experience pain around the surgical site. When you get home, use an ice pack on your face to reduce the swelling. Your Toronto dentist will give you post-operative care instructions to help you avoid infections and complications. To keep the wound clean, rinse your mouth mouth-rinse prescribed by your dentist. Then, dab the wound gently with gauze pads to absorb excess blood for half an hour. If bleeding increases, moisten the black or green tea bag and bite it for thirty minutes. Teabags have tannic acid, which can help enhance blood clot formation and reduce bleeding. Your dentist will also give you antibiotics and painkillers. Follow the instructions for prescribed medications to prevent infections and manage pain.

What activities should you not do after wisdom teeth removal?

Open wounds are susceptible to infections, bruising, and injury. Avoid rigorous jaw movements that can disrupt blood clot formation or dislodge stitches. Drinking from a straw or spitting also puts immense pressure on the wound and increases the risk of injuries. Don’t spit or use a straw for a few days. You should also avoid counterproductive habits like smoking and intense exercises to minimize bleeding. Adhere to your dentist’s post-operative care instructions to hasten the wisdom teeth removal recovery process.

How soon can I eat after wisdom teeth removal?

You can eat a few hours after wisdom tooth extraction. Don’t forget to remove gauze pads before eating or drinking. For the first 24 hours after surgery, eat soft foods like soup, pudding, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. Avoid seeds, nuts, and hard or sticky foods to reduce the risk of dislodging blood clots and stitches. Don't eat any snacks or food that can open up the wound or get stuck in the hole. To hasten wisdom teeth procedure recovery, stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.

What are the side effects after wisdom teeth surgery?

Wisdom teeth surgery is a low-risk procedure when performed by a qualified dentist. Bleeding for a day after surgery is normal. If you have low blood-clotting proteins or clotting factors, the wound can bleed for more than 24 hours. Another side effect after wisdom teeth removal is swelling in the gums around the surgical site. Some people experience pain with the first 3-4 days and mild jaw stiffness about 7-10 days after the surgery. To manage these side effects, follow your dentist’s instructions after wisdom tooth removal surgery.

What is the most painful day after wisdom teeth removal?

During wisdom teeth extraction, your dentist can use nitrous oxide to induce minimal sedation. You may experience mild discomfort or pain once the effect of nitrous oxide wears off. Swelling usually occurs within the first 48-72 hours after the surgery, which manifests as pain or discomfort. So, the second day is usually the most painful as the swelling peaks. You can use an ice pack on your check over the surgical site to reduce swelling and minimize or eradicate pain.

How long does the pain last after wisdom tooth extraction?

Most people experience mild discomfort or some pain after wisdom teeth removal. But it lasts for around 3 days after surgery. Any swelling, bleeding, and pain should be gone within 5 days to a week. Your dentist will give you painkillers and post-operative care instructions. Use prescribed pain medications to manage pain.

Does removing wisdom teeth change face shape?

No, it doesn't. Your face's shape is influenced by the underlying fat, muscles, and fat pads. Wisdom teeth removal surgery does not affect or interfere with these tissues. Your dentist will only remove the wisdom tooth. So, the procedure will not impact your jawbone or soft tissues defining your perfect face shape.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth surgery?

Most people recover from wisdom teeth surgery in 3-4 days. Blood clots form within the first 24 hours, and any swelling, discomfort, or pain subside after 2-3 days. However, several factors like stitches, aftercare, and oral health influence recovery time. If you got stitches, visit after about a week to remove them. Don’t dislodge the stitches or the blood clot before this appointment. With proper post-operative care and oral hygiene, your wisdom tooth recovery time can last for about 2 weeks. But you can resume normal activities 24 hours after surgery.

How do I know if I have a dry socket or normal pain?

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot is dislodged or disrupted. Blood clot formation usually starts within the first 24 hours after wisdom teeth removal. This self-healing process is essential for wisdom teeth surgery recovery. Disrupting the blot clot can lead to increased pain. On the other hand, normal pain after wisdom tooth extraction intensifies as the swelling builds up. Both pain and swelling reduce and go away 2-3 days after surgery. If you experience pain days after stopping, check whether the blood clot is disrupted. A dry socket also increases the risk of infection because it opens the wound bacteria in your mouth. Adhere to your dentist’s instructions after wisdom teeth surgery to avoid these risks and hasten your recovery.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure. It should be performed by a qualified dentist or oral surgeon like Toronto Smile Design’s Dr. Johnson.

Why Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental for Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

Toronto Smile Design’s Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Toronto Dentist and is experienced in wisdom teeth extraction procedures and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Johnson holds a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery with years of experience in wisdom teeth surgery, root canals, dental implants, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, and more. To get a smooth wisdom tooth extraction and quick recovery, call Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental today!

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