The recovery period for wisdom teeth extraction usually lasts a couple of days. You will be given prescriptions for pain and antibiotics to prevent infection after the surgery. Follow the dosage exactly to prevent any problems which could delay healing. Also, try to have something in your stomach before taking the medications to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Following the procedure, you will be given plenty of gauze to take with you. Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. The bleeding should slowly subside. Phone your dentist or oral surgeon if the bleeding persists after 24 hours.
While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek, lip, or tongue. Also, be careful of very hot foods as they can burn your mouth without your knowledge.
You should keep your head elevated to help stop the bleeding. Don’t lie flat. An ice pack is imperative during the first 24 hours following surgery. Place the ice pack on the outside of the cheek for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. You can begin using moist heat the following 2-3 days.
Be prepared to relax after surgery for at least three to four days. Physical activity can increase bleeding. No heavy lifting.
Your diet post surgery should consist of soft foods such as gelatin, pudding, soup, and ice cream. Gradually introduce solid foods as your healing progresses.
It will seem easier to use a straw after surgery. This is a NO-NO. Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
After the first 24 hours, you will begin gently rinsing with warm salt water three times a day for 7-10 days to reduce pain and swelling. Be very careful with rinsing and don’t swish too hard to prevent dislodging the clot. A salt water rinse consists of 1 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water.
Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. Also, smoking decreases the blood supply to the area and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgical site.
Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully and avoid touching the extraction sites the day after surgery. You will be given a large curved syringe to help clean the extraction sites with which you will begin using after five days. Fill the syringe with the warm salt water solution and carefully cleanse the site.
Your oral surgeon will remove the stitches after a few days if needed. However, many surgeons use dissolvable sutures which don’t require removal.
The key to a speedy recovery is to be prepared before the surgery. If you’re being sedated, you’ll need someone to drive you and be with you for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Have your prescriptions filled beforehand and obtain the necessary supplies such as food, ice packs, and awesome movies!