The wisdom teeth usually emerge during the late teens or early twenties, and many people simply do not have enough room to accommodate them. If these teeth are allowed to remain in their place, they can cause chronic pain and significant oral health complications, so they are often removed soon after they begin to erupt. Recovering after wisdom tooth extraction can be a challenging period, but it’s important to take proper care of your mouth while healing. Here are a few tips to keep your recovery as brief and complication-free as possible.
Tend to the Discomfort
Swelling and discomfort are expected after a wisdom tooth extraction, and your dentist will provide you with a prescription for pain management. Take this medicine as directed while taking care of the wound. It’s a great idea to apply an ice pack to the cheek covering the surgical areas for the first few days. Using cushions or pillows to keep your head elevated can help prevent excessive blood flow to the head that might distress the surgical wounds. Avoid strenuous activities for the first few days.
Stick to Soft Foods
The mouth will be very tender and sensitive for a few days after tooth extraction, so it’s best to avoid giving it stress when you eat. Stick to softer foods such as soups, noodles, mashed potatoes, ice cream, and steamed veggies until your mouth can handle chewier and crunchier fare more comfortably.
Skip Straws and Spitting
After a wisdom tooth is extracted, a blood clot will form over the wound to keep the area protected. Should this clot become dislodged, the bone and nerve tissue beneath will become exposed and the patient will experience a severely painful condition known as dry socket. Drinking through straws and spitting cause pressure to shift inside your mouth, which can cause the blood clot to come loose from the gum. Avoid drinking through straws and spitting forcefully after wisdom tooth extraction.
While recovering from wisdom tooth extraction isn’t known for being pleasant, it can end chronic pain and prevent infections or loss of alignment. Taking care of your mouth during this time will help you heal thoroughly and have you feeling great quickly.
About the Author
Dr. Roman Kotlarek earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health and Science Center in San Antonio and has taken Northeast regional and Texas board examinations. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Society of Dental Aesthetics, and the Texas Dental Association. His office in Houston, TX offers general, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry as well as wisdom tooth extractions. For more information on caring for your mouth after wisdom tooth extraction, contact his office online or dial (281) 920-4200.