Post-Wisdom Teeth Removal Care: A Comprehensive Guide

Wisdom teeth are not tumors, so first thing first, you don’t have to be scared of it. If you are someone who is about to get a wisdom tooth extraction done, then this article is for you to know every fact related to the procedure, be it pre-surgery precautions, procedure during the surgery, and also post Wisdom Teeth Removal Care

Let’s begin!

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars, that usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. They are just a consequence of evolution, and basically have no role in your jaw functioning. They are totally harmless, but might cause discomfort and dental issues in case there is overcrowding, no space for these molars to grow, impaction (when a tooth is unable to fully emerge through the gum), or due to improper alignment. 

What is wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom tooth removal, also known as wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental surgery procedure, in which the wisdom teeth are extracted from the gums. This treatment is required to improve your overall oral health. It also helps protect other teeth form getting infected or suffer.  

Why is Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If the wisdom teeth grow properly aligned, then they can support the back side of your jaw. Even though not required, they can help preserve the teeth placed next. 

However, problem arises when their growth is not properly aligned with your jaw structure. The already grown teeth take up space in the jaw structure, so when these wisdom teeth start growing, they may make the space overcrowded. 

The American Dental Association says you might have to get your wisdom teeth taken out if you:

  • Feel pain around your wisdom teeth.
  • Keep getting infections behind your back lower teeth.
  • Have fluid-filled sacs called cysts.
  • Get cavities in your wisdom teeth that can’t be fixed with fillings.
  • Have wisdom teeth that are pushing against other teeth and causing problems.

If your wisdom teeth are causing problems or X-rays show they might cause problems later, it’s best to take them out. Other reasons to remove them include:

  • Damaging other teeth: Extra molars can push your other teeth and cause pain.
  • Risk of issues like jaw damage, sinus pain, and swollen gums if not removed.

How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight before your surgery.
  • Be honest about your medications, including over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, as well as recreational drug and alcohol use.
  • Avoid smoking for at least 12 hours before surgery.
  • Prepare your recovery space at home.
  • Brush your teeth before your appointment to reduce bacteria and lower the risk of infection.
  • Bring a responsible adult who can drive you home after the procedure.

What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure

  • You’ll receive anaesthesia to numb your teeth and gums or sedation if you choose it.
  • If the tooth is still under the gum, a small cut will be made to access it.
  • If needed, a small piece of bone covering the tooth may be removed.
  • The tooth may be divided into smaller parts for easier removal.
  • You shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, just minimal discomfort.
  • The dentist or oral surgeon will remove the tooth, clean the area to prevent infection, and may place stitches to close the wound.
  • Gauze is placed over the sockets to slow bleeding.

What is the Duration of the Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure

  • The wisdom teeth extraction typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Anaesthesia options include local anaesthesia, IV sedation, or general anaesthesia for complex cases.
  • If only one tooth is being removed, it may take 20-30 minutes, while removing all four may take 30-45 minutes.
  • If you opt for IV sedation, plan to be in the office for about 90 minutes.

Note: Complex cases may require more time for the procedure.

What to Do After Wisdom Teeth Removal

You should plan a rightful teeth removal aftercare as after having your wisdom teeth removed, you might notice a few symptoms:

Stiff and Sore Jaw

Your jaw might feel stiff and sore for about 7 to 10 days after the wisdom teeth extraction. This is a normal part of the healing process, and it typically gets better with time.

Pain

If the wisdom tooth removal was particularly tough or complicated, you may experience more pain. This discomfort can vary from person to person but should gradually improve as your mouth heals.

Unpleasant Taste or Tingling/Numbness

Sometimes, you might notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth during the wisdom tooth extraction aftercare. Additionally, you might experience tingling or numbness in your face, lips, or tongue. While these sensations are uncommon, they can happen and usually resolve on their own over time as the nerves in the area recover.

Dos After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wait at least 4-5 hours before eating solid foods.

Rest at home for 3 to 5 days after the extraction for a proper teeth removal aftercare.

Elevate your head with an extra pillow to reduce swelling and promote clotting.

Apply ice packs to reduce swelling.

Stick to a soft or liquid diet for a few days and chew with your other teeth.

Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.

Resume brushing your teeth after the first 24 hours, but avoid the extraction site.

Don’ts After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Don’t take aspirin, as it can delay clot formation.

Don’t use ice packs after the first 48 hours.

Avoid rinsing, spitting, hot drinks, or anything during wisdom tooth extraction aftercare. This might dislodge blood clots in the empty socket for the first 24 hours.

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol for 24 hours.

Avoid using toothpaste for 3 to 4 days to prevent dislodging blood clots.

Don’t consume hard, chewy, hot, or spicy foods that could irritate the wound.

Don’t brush, rinse, spit, or use mouthwash for the first 24 hours.

Avoid dairy products, as they can introduce bacteria to the open wound.

Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth

There are several benefits to having your wisdom teeth removed:

  • Removing wisdom teeth can prevent damage to nearby teeth.
  • Less crowding means fewer orthodontic issues in the future.
  • Extracting wisdom teeth lowers the risk of infections in the mouth.
  • With fewer teeth in the mouth, it becomes easier to maintain good oral hygiene practices.
  • Removal of wisdom teeth can alleviate oral and facial pain, including pressure and sensitivity.

Risks and Complications of Extraction

While these risks are relatively small, it’s essential to be aware of them and discuss any concerns with your dental professional. Serious complications are rare, but it’s crucial to follow wisdom teeth extraction care instructions carefully to minimize potential issues and promote healing.

While the procedure is generally safe, there are some risks and potential complications associated with wisdom tooth removal aftercare:

  • Dry Socket

In some cases, the blood clot in the extraction site may fail to form properly or become dislodged.

  • Nerve Injury

There is a risk of temporary or permanent nerve damage, leading to tingling or numbness in the tongue or face.

  • Infection

Bacteria or trapped food particles in the socket can cause infection.

  • Damage to Surrounding Structures

Nearby teeth, nerves, jawbone, or sinuses may be inadvertently damaged during the procedure.

How long does it take to recover after wisdom teeth removal? 

The typical recovery time post wisdom teeth removal is one to two weeks. However, most people can get back to their usual routines, like school or work, within three to five days. For some, recovery might be faster, happening in just three days. 

But for others, especially if there were complications during surgery, it could take up to two weeks to fully recover with proper post wisdom teeth extraction care. After the surgery, the gum tissue should start closing the extraction site within a few days. It might take a few months for the socket underneath the gum tissue to fully close.

What’s the worst day of pain after wisdom tooth extraction?

The most painful day after wisdom teeth removal typically occurs about two or three days after the surgery, not counting the day of the surgery itself. For instance, if your surgery was on a Friday, the worst day is likely to be Sunday. Pain and swelling might not completely disappear by the fourth day, but they should be getting better.

How long after wisdom teeth removal can I eat? 

You can usually start eating your normal diet when you feel comfortable, which is usually within a few days to a week after surgery. However, be cautious when chewing around the surgical sites, even if you feel ready for regular foods.

When can I go back to work or school after Wisdom Teeth Removal? 

Most people can go back to their usual routines within three to five days after wisdom teeth removal, although full recovery might take one to two weeks. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions to help you stay comfortable during the healing process.

When should I call my oral surgeon after wisdom tooth removal? 

Call your dentist or oral surgeon post wisdom teeth removal if you’re still experiencing bleeding 24 hours after surgery. 

Also, during wisdom tooth removal aftercare be careful not to bite your cheeks, lips, or tongue while your mouth is numb. 

Call your dentist if you start experiencing the following symptoms

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Fever.
  • Severe pain not relieved by prescribed pain medications.
  • Swelling that worsens after two or three days.
  • A bad taste in your mouth not removed with saltwater rinsing.
  • Pus in or oozing from the socket.

What’s the average wisdom teeth removal age? 

Wisdom teeth typically start growing between the ages of 18 and 25, and it’s often recommended to remove them before age 26. However, extractions can be done later if necessary. Regular dental checkups, especially for teens and young adults, are crucial. 

Wisdom teeth got their name because they usually come in during a person’s mature years. It’s quite rare for adults over 30 to develop wisdom teeth.

Conclusion 

Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure, that need not be taken too seriously, but, at the same time needs proper guidance and understanding of the dos and don’ts. we tried to answer every query that would be asked around the topic, and hence this guide is a wholesome set of information one should know about wisdom tooth removal.

 Just follow these tips, listen to your dentist, and you’ll be feeling better in no time. Take it easy, and soon you’ll be back to your regular routine with a healthy smile!

FAQs

1. How can I reduce the risk of dry socket after wisdom teeth removal?

To reduce the risk of dry socket, avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, and vigorous rinsing for the first few days as a part of wisdom teeth removal aftercare.

2. When can I resume physical activities, such as exercising or playing sports, after wisdom teeth removal?

It’s best to wait at least 48 hours before resuming physical activities after wisdom teeth removal, to allow proper healing time.

3. Are there any specific oral hygiene practices I should follow after wisdom teeth removal?

Practice gentle oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth gently and avoiding the extraction sites for the first 24 hours during wisdom teeth removal aftercare.

4. Can I take over-the-counter pain medications for discomfort after wisdom teeth removal, and if so, which ones are recommended?

Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken as directed by your dentist or oral surgeon to manage discomfort after wisdom teeth removal.

5. What are some tips for managing anxiety or discomfort during the recovery period after wisdom teeth removal?

Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or listening to calming music to help manage anxiety or discomfort during the recovery period after wisdom teeth removal.

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