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Extraction Aftercare: How to Recover from Wisdom Tooth Removal

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — parksidedental @ 6:46 pm
X-ray image with wisdom tooth highlighted red

Having one or more wisdom teeth extracted probably isn’t something you’re looking forward to, but it’s often necessary to keep your smile healthy. These late arrivals sometimes don’t fully erupt, grow in at an odd angle, or simply don’t fit. In these instances, your dentist may have to remove them to ensure your oral well-being doesn’t suffer.

Your dentist will ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure itself, but what about afterward? How should you care for yourself properly following a wisdom tooth extraction? Keep reading to learn 4 tips for a swift recovery!

Tip #1: Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

Your dentist will provide specific orders intended to help you heal quickly and without complications. After your appointment, it’s imperative that a blood clot forms over the site which protects the sensitive tissues that were exposed. If it doesn’t, or if it becomes dislodged, you’ll end up with a painful condition called dry socket. To avoid it, be sure that you follow your dentist’s directions in detail.

Tip #2: Use Gauze

It’s normal to have some light bleeding immediately following your extraction, but it should abate relatively soon. You can help by placing a small piece of gauze over the wound and biting down gently to help slow the flow. Be wary of chomping your inner lip or cheek if your mouth is still numb, though!

Tip #3: Manage Discomfort

You’ll probably have some swelling and soreness to contend with once the anesthetic wears off, but you don’t have to live with the ache. You can assuage it by applying an ice pack to that side of your face for periods of 15 to 20 minutes to numb any sensation and reduce puffiness. It’s usually also safe to take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol to manage symptoms. If your dentist prescribed pain meds, be sure to follow the orders precisely.

Tip #4: Watch What You Eat

To avoid dislodging the healing blood clot, try not to bite or chew anything on that side of your mouth for a few days after your procedure. You can enjoy soft foods like puddings, yogurts, or soups instead. Remember, though, to avoid anything too hot which can dislocate the blood clot, too. You’ll also need to sip from a glass instead of sucking through a straw for the same reason. The suction formed can damage the blood clot and lead to dry socket.

By following your dentist’s post-op instructions, you’ll avoid potential pitfalls while recovering and can be back on your feet in no time!

About the Author

Dr. John Moneyhun is passionate about helping patients improve their lives by enhancing their oral health. He attended the University of Tennessee for his undergraduate degree and then achieved his Doctor of Dental Medicine at The Medical University of South Carolina. He has continued to refine his skills and stays current with state-of-the-art technology, like digital X-rays so that he can provide the most current treatments available. If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth and would like a consultation, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (864) 800-1691.

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