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Ready for Recovery: Caring for Your Mouth After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

December 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — peeryfamily @ 4:21 pm
A row of toy wooden teeth with toy forceps pulling one

It’s natural to feel nervous about your upcoming wisdom tooth extraction. Though it’s a routine procedure, it does have some potential risks and complications like any other surgery. That means it’s important to care for yourself properly afterward. Following your dentist’s aftercare instructions is the best way to heal as quickly as possible without developing any problems. If you’re curious about what to expect from your recovery, keep reading to find out!

Will Recovery Hurt?

You’ll be numbed or sedated for the procedure itself so you might experience pressure, but probably not much discomfort. That said, it’s normal for your mouth to ache as the anesthesia wears off. This sensation should only last about 24-48 hours and then will subside gradually with each passing day.

To relieve the throbbing, you can try:

  • Rinsing with salt water. This will reduce swelling and keep the surgical site clear of unwanted particles.
  • Using peppermint or clove oil. Place a few drops on a cotton ball or gauze and gently bite down on it for a few minutes.
  • Applying a cold compress or ice pack. This provides a temporary numbing sensation.
  • Taking over-the-counter medication. Often, ibuprofen or Tylenol can reduce symptoms.
  • Taking your prescription. If your dentist prescribed pain meds, be sure to follow the directions in detail.

Are Bleeding and Swelling Normal?

A certain amount of oozing is expected after your procedure but should abate as you form a blood clot over the wound. This clot helps heal the site while protecting the underlying nerves. Immediately following your appointment, place a gauze pad over the area and bite down on it for about 30 minutes. If that doesn’t slow the flow, follow the same process with a tea bag. The tannic acid contained in the tea leaves encourages a blood clot to form by contracting your blood vessels. You’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise, or you could dislodge the clot and experience an unpleasant complication known as dry socket.

Mild inflammation or bruising is your body’s natural reaction to surgery and is considered normal during the first few days of recovery. You can reduce the impact with ice packs applied to the side of your face where the procedure was performed.

What Is Safe to Eat?

You’ll want to stick to a soft-food diet and avoid chewing anything near the surgical site while your mouth heals. Thin soups, pudding, yogurt, and blended smoothies are all great options. You’ll also need to drink plenty of water to boost your immune system. Avoid anything incredibly hot, which can cause your blood clot to break free. You should avoid drinking out of a straw for the same reason.

Your dentist might have different orders, so it’s important to prioritize the instructions they’ve provided. Soon, you’ll be fully recovered and back to life as usual!

About the Practice

Since 1980, Peery & Woolwine Family Dentistry has been providing a full range of oral health services to patients of all ages, including tooth extractions. They use advanced dental technology to ensure efficient and long-lasting results, all in a cozy and relaxed setting to put you at ease. With several sedation options available, you’ll feel comfortable throughout your entire procedure. If you’d like to request an appointment, you’re welcome to do so on the website or by calling (434) 847-5331.

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