Your dentist said that you need to remove your wisdom teeth? Don’t panic, lots of people have to go through this procedure. But knowing what to expect after the surgery can help you calm down and recover more easily.
Your dentist has, or will explain all that, but let’s go through the recovery instructions in details:
- Eat a light meal an hour or two before your appointment. Do you go to your appointment with an empty stomach, and do not eat a very heavy meal if you will have intravenous sedation.
- Make sure you have a couple of days off after your appointment to rest after the surgery.
- If you took medications or if the dentist used sedation, make sure there is someone who will drive you home after.
- After the procedure, leave the gauze in your mouth and bite on it for pressure, do this for at least 30 minutes or the time that your mouth bleeds.
- If the bleeding persists for more the 30 minutes, or if it starts again later in the evening, use more gauze, or bite down on a wet tea bag which works even better. Tannic acid found in tea helps reduce bleeding. It is normal if you wake up the following day and that your saliva is reddish from blood.
- For the first 24 hours, eat soft foods that are not too warm nor too cold.
- Rinse with warm water and sea salt, but starting 24 hours after your wisdom teeth have been removed, not the same day. The recipe is 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 glass (250 ml) of warm water.
- Use ice the first 24 hours on your face to reduce the swelling. If you do not have ice, use bags with frozen vegetables instead. If the procedure was difficult, swelling will occur and you might also see colour change on the skin.
- Have a couple of pillows under your head when sleeping. This will help reduce the swelling.
- Take your antibiotics and pain killers as prescribed by your dentist.
- Do not smoke for 48 to 72 hours! Smoking introduces toxins to the extraction site and can also dislodge the clots, which can cause dry socket.
- Do not use a straw to sip on liquids, as the pressure caused from the sipping can also dislodge clots and lead to dry socket.
- Do not spit, as the pressure can also dislodge the clots. If there is blood in your mouth, let it flow down your mouth and then wipe your lips.
- Do not play sports for 24 to 48 hours.
- Do not use mouthwash for 24 hours.
After one week, you should feel much better. Your gums will slowly get back to normal, and some people might feel like it’s totally healed. But put in mind the total healing time takes about 3 months, and during that time food can be stuck in the sockets and you need to rinse with salted water to clean them.