The Complete Guide to Post Op Recovery After Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdom teeth removal

In the United States, about 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted every single year. Wisdom teeth removal is a normal part of life and is often necessary. Still, it can be an uncomfortable procedure and recovery. 

Learning how to care for your mouth during post-op recovery is essential to make a full recovery and avoid unnecessary discomfort. Do you want to learn more about removing wisdom teeth and how you should care for your oral health after surgery? 

Keep reading this guide for the top things you need to know about wisdom teeth removal recovery. 

Recovery Timeline

After removal of your wisdom teeth, you will start to come out of your anesthesia. You may feel a bit loopy as you leave the oral surgery center, but this is completely normal. 

Your wisdom teeth removal recovery timeline will vary, but it is important to know that it is not an immediate healing process. You will likely be in some discomfort for a few days, with your healing improving each day. 

During the first 24 hours after your oral surgery, your mouth will start to form blood clots to protect the gums where your tooth used to be. For the next couple of days, you can expect your mouth and cheeks to swell.

This is a normal sign of healing, but might be a bit uncomfortable. 

About a 7 to 10 days after your wisdom teeth removal, you may go back to your oral surgeon to have them evaluate your extraction sites and remove stitches from your procedure. You will feel your soreness go away and will typically feel close to normal after about 7 to 10 days. 

Post-Op Aftercare

After you get your wisdom teeth removed, your doctor will likely have some after-care tips for you to speed up your healing. Talking to your oral surgeon and following these instructions closely can help you avoid unnecessary complications with your recovery. 

For example, your oral surgeon will likely tell you not to eat any solid foods within the first day after your wisdom teeth removal. While you can eat soft foods or liquids, anything solid can get into your sockets and cause potential complications. 

You should also keep gauze over your extraction site for the first day of your recovery. This will help you manage any bleeding from your gums and will also help your blood clot form. 

It is also essential that you keep your mouth clean after your surgery. Your oral surgeon will likely recommend doing salt water rinses after the first day of recovery. This will keep anything from getting lodged in your extraction site and will also prevent bacteria from growing. 

Lastly, you need to get lots of rest! Getting good rest will help you heal faster.

Foods to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Because your oral surgeon will tell you to eat liquids or soft foods after your wisdom tooth removal, it may be difficult to find things that you want to eat after your procedure. 

However, there are some easy snacks and meals that you can eat that will not affect your recovery! For example, you can eat smoothies or blended soups and broths. Just make sure it is served cold or at room temperature. You want to avoid hot foods.

Other foods that people commonly eat after wisdom teeth removal are mashed potatoes, apple sauce, ice cream, and yogurt. 

Make sure you don’t eat any foods that are hard or can break into small pieces. This includes chips, popcorn, and more. These foods can easily get lodged in your extraction site. These can make it difficult for clots to form and may even cause infections. 

Pain Management

It is common for people to feel pain after wisdom teeth removal or any other tooth extraction. 

While your doctor may prescribe pain killers that you can take after your wisdom tooth extraction, even taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or Tylenol can help you ease the pain and prevent swelling after your surgery. 

Something else that can soothe your pain naturally is ice. Using a cold compress or an ice pack can reduce swelling in your cheek and will also numb the pain from your extraction. 

Make sure you wrap ice in a cloth before applying it to your face to avoid ice burns. 

Other Recovery Tips

Finally, there are a few other tips that you can follow to improve your wisdom teeth removal recovery and avoid complications. 

One of the most important tips to follow after a tooth extraction is to avoid straws. If you suck on a straw, it can cause extra pressure in your mouth that can dislodge your blood clot and delay your healing. When this happens, it is known as a dry socket and can be quite painful. 

Even something as simple as spitting too soon after getting your wisdom teeth removed can dislodge your clot. 

It is also important that you stay hydrated after your wisdom teeth extraction. This will not only keep your socket clean but drinking plenty of fluids can also speed up your healing process. 

Lastly, you should keep your head elevated after your wisdom teeth removal. This will help reduce the amount of blood around your extraction site and will reduce the swelling in your face. It will also help you recover faster!

If you need other tips for improving dental health during wisdom teeth removal recovery, you should talk to your dentist!

Need Help With Wisdom Teeth Removal and Post-Op Recovery? 

When you get your wisdom teeth removed, it can be painful if you don’t know what to expect. Following each of the tips in this guide will help you with your long-term recovery and can help you avoid unnecessary pain!

If you need help with wisdom teeth removal and post-op recovery, Santa Monica Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants can help! Our oral surgery experts provide wisdom teeth removal and other oral surgery procedures. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to book an exam!

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