Millions of wisdom teeth are extracted every year all over the world with little or no complications. This is because even though every surgical process comes with its own risk, wisdom teeth removal is essentially a very simple procedure, and allows for a quick recovery so that you can get back to your daily routine in no time. But as easy it sounds, having an excellent dentist by your side is crucial. They will examine you to determine the position and size of the teeth, making sure your wisdom teeth removal is appropriately done to achieve the optimum result from treatment.
However, there are a few simple strategies you can adopt to make the removal process as comfortable as possible and to speed up the recovery process.
1. Plan ahead
For a stress-free surgery and recovery, you should talk to an oral surgeon or your local dentist about what to expect. During this first consultation, you will be presented with a checklist of what to expect and a few guidelines to follow. Make sure you adhere strictly to the information provided and get clarification on any detail you do not understand.
Additionally, you should schedule your surgery to take place when you can take a few days off work to recover. If possible, have someone around that will help you get home after the surgery and stay with you for the rest of the day, to help you manage the after-effects the surgery.
2. Keep Surgical Area Protected
You can prevent post-operation infections and complications by keeping the surgical site free and protected. For example, for the next few weeks, avoid using that part of your mouth to chew or handle hot, cold, or spicy meals. In fact, this area should be covered with medicated cloth throughout the healing period as food remnant and other foreign matter can quickly lead to infection.
3. Take your medications
Your dentist will recommend pain medications for you to use after the tooth removal. Be sure to take all the recommended medications as they will help manage the post-operation pain.
You should also consider a course of antibiotics to prevent bacteria. Even if you feel better and all healed, be sure to complete all the dosages as prescribed by your dentist.
4. Get Your Rest After Surgery
The best and quickest way to speed up recovery after wisdom teeth extraction is to get as much rest as possible. This is why wisdom teeth dentists recommend that you fix the operation for a time when you can get time off your daily routine to have lots of rest.
If you exercise daily, you may want to skip this for some time after the surgery as your body needs time to recuperate and putting in under more strain will not help the healing process.
5. Open your mouth
It is normal for your mouth to feel stiff after wisdom teeth removal surgery, but as already said, this is normal and should go away after a few days. You may find it difficult to open your mouth after the operation but it is important that you do so as often as possible to prevent the stiffness from becoming permanent.
However, the first time you try opening your mouth after surgery, do so slowly and gently.
6. Watch what you eat and drink
Your mouth will feel sore and sensitive after teeth removal so it is important you take care and watch what you eat and drink. Avoid very hot and very cold food and instead, stick to room temperature. Soups, mashed potatoes, and soft fruits are great for this period, and you should only move to hard and solid food after your mouth has healed completely.
Additionally, it is important that you stay hydrated as much as possible, but avoid drinking through a straw and as much as possible, stay away from alcohol.
As time go by, you can transition to your normal diet by slowly incorporating soft, easy-to-chew meals like oatmeal, eggs, and then slowing upgrading to noodles and pasta. Be sure to keep your chewing to the barest minimum as long as possible to help speed up your recovery.
7. Keep your head elevated
In the first few days after the teeth removal procedure, try to keep your head raised when you sleep. Use lots of pillows to keep your upper body elevated at a 45-degree angle and avoid putting pressure on the side of your face where the extraction site is.
Sleeping in an elevated position will help you recover fast as there will be less blood volume around the injury site. Sleeping elevated will also help reduce swelling around the extraction site.
As already established, wisdom teeth extraction is typically a simple process and the pain and swelling should go down with each passing day. However, it is important that you pay attention to the extraction site, avoid unnecessary pressures and be on the lookout for excessive bleeding, swelling that won’t go down, severe throbbing pain days after the surgery, and fever that refuses to break.
If you experience any of the above at any point after the surgery, you should get in touch with your dentist immediately.