Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Recovery Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction

June 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — wacofamilyteam @ 6:40 am
a patient holding a model of an extracted wisdom tooth

One of the most common dental procedures across the entire world is wisdom teeth removal; in fact, it’s basically a rite of passage into adulthood for many of us and sets us up for a lifetime of fewer oral health issues! But if your dentist has recently informed you that it’s time for those teeth to go, you might have a few reservations, especially when it comes to the healing period. Here’s a closer look at the recovery timeline for wisdom tooth extraction and some tips for ensuring a stress-free recovery.

A Brief Look at the Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery Timeline

Recovering from any type of oral surgery is a gradual process, and since every patient heals differently and experiences varying symptoms, an accurate timeline can’t always be predicted. That said, when it comes to healing from wisdom tooth extraction, here’s what patients can generally expect:

  • 24 hours after the extraction – Blood clots form over the surgical wounds which assist with the healing process. Initial soreness and swelling are normal.
  • 2 – 3 days following the extraction – The swelling and inflammation should begin to diminish but might still be uncomfortable.
  • 1-week post-surgery – The facial swelling will continue to decrease, as will jaw stiffness. If you had stitches, your dentist might need to remove them.
  • 2 weeks post-surgery – The majority of the soreness or bruising should be gone by this point if post-surgery guidelines were followed; persisting issues should be examined by your oral surgeon.

Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Recovery

The bottom line is that humans have a limited healing factor—so unless you have superpowers, you can expect your body to need a few weeks to fully recover from wisdom tooth extractions. Here are some useful tips for ensuring a comfortable and smooth recovery timeline:

Tip #1. Prioritize Protection of the Blood Clot(s)

Once your teeth have been extracted, blood clots will form over the now-empty sockets to protect them as they begin healing. These clots need to be protected at all costs, since they prevent infection and excess bleeding while allowing the surrounding tissue to repair itself. Don’t touch or poke your blood clots, and do not use a drinking straw, as the suction will likely dislodge them and create painful dry sockets.

Tip #2. Stick to a Soft-Food-Only Diet at First

A liquid-only diet is recommended for the first 24 hours after surgery, but afterward, you can begin incorporating soft foods that don’t require much chewing. Options like smoothies, ice cream, and yogurt are excellent.

Tip #3. Use OTC Pain Relievers, Saltwater Rinses, and Cold Compresses as Needed

These are all very easy and accessible at-home remedies that you can employ to assist with any discomfort you’re feeling while recuperating. Over-the-counter medications can ease any associated pain, saltwater rinses can assist with inflammation and promote healing, and cold compresses can also assist with swelling and provide some cool, much-needed relief!

Tip #4. Avoid Poor Oral Habits

Absolutely do not smoke or use tobacco while you’re recovering from wisdom tooth extraction; these behaviors can increase your risk of infection and add to your discomfort. Smoking can also exacerbate dry sockets due to the suction involved.

Tip #5. Plan Ahead & Ask for Help

Wisdom tooth extraction is a big commitment, so you should be sure that you’ve taken care of any important affairs beforehand and ensured that as you recover, you’ll have everything you need and access to help if necessary. You’ll need a ride to and from the appointment, and you’ll probably want to take a couple of days off from school or work. The peace of mind that’s associated with knowing you’ll make a smooth and easy recovery shouldn’t be taken for granted!

About the Practice

The team at Heart of Texas Smiles has proudly served patients and families in the Waco, TX area for several years. Under the leadership of Dr. Theresa Lassetter, Dr. Guillermo Rivacoba, and Dr. Shria Dhaon, the practice is honored to provide a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments. If you have any questions about the blog, wisdom tooth extractions, or any other services offered by the practice, don’t hesitate to contact them online or by phone for further information or assistance. Telephone: (254) 848-0240.

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