To minimise your recovery time following wisdom tooth removal, there are a few tips for wisdom tooth aftercare.
Thousands of wisdom teeth removals in Perth are performed every year and, while this is a straightforward procedure, it’s vital that you take proper care following your procedure to avoid complications. In this blog, we’ll run through what to expect following your wisdom teeth removal, what to look out for, and what steps to take.
Dry socket develops when the newly formed blood clot within the empty tooth socket becomes dislodged or dissolves prematurely. This results in exposing both the underlying bone and nerve endings and can be severely painful. Dry socket is both one of the most common complications following wisdom tooth removal as well as one of the most preventable. As well a severe pain, other symptoms include bad breath, unpleasant taste sensations, swollen lymph nodes and fever. This can last up to 5-7 days.
To avoid this, it’s recommended you drink plenty of water, and although it may be tempting to use a straw, this can increase the risk of developing dry socket, as the sucking action can dislodge the clot. Although it’s best to eat only soft foods following your procedure avoid soups for similar reasons. It’s also recommended you avoid smoking and check with your dentist that any medications you may be on don’t interact negatively.
You should expect some bleeding after your procedure, as well as oozing or redness in your saliva. If your bleeding is excessive, placing a gauze pad over the area and biting down for approximately 30 minutes can help. If this bleeding continues, try biting on a moist tea bag for another half hour. The acid in the tea bag helps blood to clot by contracting the blood vessels around the surgical site. It can also help to stay calm, sit upright and avoid any strenuous exercise. If bleeding persists, make sure to get in contact with your dentist as soon as possible.
For severe pain, make sure to take any prescribed pain medication as directed. Pain medication can make you feel groggy or drowsy so it’s important for you not to drive, work on heavy machinery, and avoid any alcohol while you’re taking them. Pain is most often the worst immediately after your surgery, and for the following 24-48 hours. This is common and should subside more and more each day. If you notice your pain does not go away, or if your pain worsens over this time, then contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Swelling and discolouration
Wisdom tooth removal is a highly invasive procedure, and so you should expect for there to be swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and on the sides of the face. Because of the location of the wisdom teeth in the posterior of the mouth, the surgical site touches on a wide area of the face. Swelling and mild bruising are simply the body’s natural reaction and so it’s’ important not to panic, particularly if the surgery was quite intense.
The full extent of swelling and discolouration may a take a day or two to become apparent and most often reaches its maximum around the third day mark. To minimise the swelling and discolouration, fill a bag with ice or get ice packs, and apply these to your face. Keep them there continuously for the first 24-36 hours. After this time, their effects will wear off.
Discolouration from bruising may take up to two weeks to fully resolve, even after the original swelling has subsided.
Nausea and vomiting following wisdom tooth removal surgery are common and usually the result of the sedation and pain medications. In the event of vomiting following your surgery, do not take anything e.g. further medication for at least one hour. It can help to sip on things like coke, tea or ginger ale until the nausea subsides
Once your bleeding has stopped, make sure to drink plenty of lukewarm fluids to keep hydrated and eat regularly with soft foods at first. Foods like puddings, jelly, eggs, mashed potatoes and thick soups are good choices, as well as vegetables and fruits that are blended. Aim to avoid foods that can dislodge your blood clot in the surgical socket such as popcorn, peanuts, and pasta.
Wisdom teeth aftercare at Access Dental Care
At Access Dental Care, our team has performed countless wisdom tooth removals, so we know how best to take care of you after your procedure. If you have any questions about wisdom tooth removal, aftercare, or are worried about symptoms your experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact us at Access Dental Care.