Pain and discomfort is redoubtably experienced when a wisdom tooth has been extracted. Many people are not aware of the recovery time, or of how long it will take before they can eat crunchy foods again such as carrots and apples.
Wisdom teeth are always the final teeth to erupt in the mouth. However, not everyone keeps their wisdom teeth, nor are they vital for a healthy, bright smile. Some people's wisdom teeth do not in fact grow fully, which can in turn cause harm. Wisdom teeth generally erupt between the ages of 16 and 20, but may crowd the mouth. This can cause infection and pain, therefore it is advised to have them removed.
Some dentists or oral surgeons can remove wisdom teeth during an outpatient procedure. However, these are generally removed using general or local anaesthesia. Unfortunately discomfort and pain is part of the procedure, and is felt more so when the anaesthesia wears off, but the recovery process soon begins.
Looking After Yourself After Surgery
A certain amount of bleeding may be experienced after having wisdom teeth removed. Whilst the mouth is healing, take extra care as the blood clot should not be dislodged and harm should not be brought upon healing gums. Solid foods, coffee, soda, hot drinks and alcohol should be avoided at all costs. You should not even brush your teeth for the first recovery day. The typical recovery time after wisdom tooth extraction is four days, however, some people may need a week. The recovery time can depend on how badly the teeth were affecting your mouth.
There are many things that you can do to help the recovery time speed by. The first is to relax and take it easy for the first couple of days. In most cases, normal activities can be resumed after the first day, but the longer you relax the quicker the recovery process will be. The most important thing to remember is not to overdo it and carry out any activities that may dislodge the blood clot. Prescription pain killers can be taken for the pain, which will be given to you by your dentist or oral surgeon. Ice packs are a good way to reduce swelling as the cold helps to reduce inflammation and ease discomfort.
Your dentist will give you sound advice on how to care for your mouth during the recovery period. They will almost certainly tell you not to brush, spit, floss or rinse for 24 hours. After that, you can clean your teeth in the normal way, but taking care at the back of your mouth. Rinsing with salt water will help to keep your mouth clean and free from infection. Consume soft foods such as yoghurt, cottage cheese, apple sauce etc. After the first 2 days, you can move on to semi-soft foods.
If after a week you notice any unusual symptoms such as severe pain, fever or a puss discharge, you must seek advice immediately. Whilst infections are rare, they can happen, so it is important to keep a close eye on your mouth.