Wisdom teeth recovery

Inquiétude vis-à-vis les dents de sagesseYour 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.


Dr. Katya Archambault

Dr Katya ArchambaultA dentist that is smiling, enthusiastic, welcoming, and full of energy, Dr. Katya Archambault excels in her field of dental implants. She is a dentist by training who has later specialized by following post-doctoral studies in implantology at the University of New York, she now practices in Montreal and Warwick in the Canadian province of Quebec, and in Washington DC clinic as well in the United States.

She is also a professor in the Faculty of Dentistry of McGill University and has also her own teaching academy of dental implants destined for dentists. In fact, this is where I took my first implant course and I was charmed by the enthusiasm, knowledge, and talent of Dr. Archambault. She has a unique way of transmitting her knowledge that captivates your attention and nourishes your interests. It is also during my classes at the academy that I placed my first dental implant in one patients and it was a success because I was well trained and well coached.

The implant school of Dr. Katya Archambault is called the Canadian Academy of improvement in implantology. It is a young academy that has great potential and of which many dentists will benefit from the knowledge that they will get.

Dr Nimatt Pertick

Dr Nimatt Pertick is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Laval, Canada. He takes great care of his patients, and is a top practitioner in his domain. I refer to him all my patients needing implants, even if he practices about 50 kilometres from my clinic.

List of all dentists

Dr Alireza Toussi | Dr Antoine Nguyen | Dr Brock Rondeau | Dr Caroline Trinh | Dr Marie-Claude Michaud | Dr Mona Lisa Karazivan | Dr Mysa Vovan | Dr Nimatt Pertick | Dr Pascal Terjanian |

Alcohol and tooth extraction

What if you have just had a tooth extracted and wondering if you can have a glass of wine, or even a beer? Or you might have had your tooth extraction a week ago, and although it feels pretty comfortable in your mouth, you still wonder if you can go out with friends and have shooters!

The first few days after an extraction, it feels uncomfortable to eat or drink anything. Therefore alcohol might not be a good choice of beverage. Some people might argue that alcohol disinfects the extraction site, but rinsing with water and salt is a better idea. It is not officially forbidden to have alcohol after any tooth surgery… unless you are taking medication such as pain killers or antibiotics.

Some of these drugs can become toxic if alcohol is taken during the same period. It is therefore important not to have alcohol if any medication is taken after tooth extraction, depending on the prescribed period, which is usually from seven to ten days.

Complete Article: Can you Drink Alcohol after a Tooth Extraction?
In French: Alcool et extraction dentaire

Why is it bad to smoke after tooth extraction?

Man in Pain, Wanting to SmokeSmoking is very bad for your health, and especially after your dentist has removed a tooth. Ideally, if you need to smoke, you must wait 48 to 72 hours after the surgery. If someone tells you to wait only 4 hours, do it at your own risk!

The reason you must wait is that smoking can slow down the healing process in your mouth, and even cause serious complications. The smoke has chemical toxins that not only harm your lungs but also your surgery site. Also, the suction done when smoking can dislodge the blood cloth from the socket it is in.

One major complication is called dry socket. It is a very painful condition around the tooth extraction site, which can cause bad smell and limit how big your open your mouth. It usually happens 3-4 days after the surgery. If you do nothing, it will eventually go away, but if you see a dentist, he can put a desensitizing drug to make it go faster.

Full Article: When Can Someone Smoke after a Tooth Extraction?
In French: Pourquoi est-ce qu’il ne faut pas fumer après avoir enlevé une dent?

What is the worst that can happen if wisdom teeth are not removed?

Wisdom Tooth X-RayIf a dentist recommends removing wisdom teeth, it would be unwise to delay the surgery indefinitely. To do so may invite a variety of problems including damage to adjacent structures, such as sensory nerves, the maxillary sinus, and alveolar bone. Postponed wisdom teeth removal may be more complicated and require a longer recovery period. Additionally, damage caused by wisdom teeth to adjacent teeth and structures may not be easily repaired.

Tooth Decay

Keeping the back of the mouth clean with daily brushing and flossing is difficult in the best of circumstances. When wisdom teeth are present, good oral hygiene in this area is very difficult; a situation that often leads to cavities. Research has shown that more young adults have decay in the wisdom tooth area than previously thought.

Gum Disease

Wisdom teeth are not like other teeth in that they generally do not have adequate space to erupt. This is due not only to limited space, but also to the fact that gum tissues in the area are not designed to attach to the tooth in a normal way like other teeth. No matter how well someone maintains oral hygiene, it is very tough to keep the wisdom tooth area clean and bacteria free. Bacterial infection and inflammation often results in gum disease that can affect neighbouring teeth.

Involvement of adjacent structures

A young adult’s wisdom teeth generally have incomplete root systems, making surgery relatively uncomplicated. As wisdom teeth mature, their roots lengthen and may become involved with the surrounding structures such as sensory nerves or the maxillary sinus. In such cases, surgery may trigger a greater chance of complications.

Cyst and tumour formation

A fully impacted wisdom tooth sits in the jawbone surrounded by the sac in which teeth develop. Over time, however, this sac may enlarge and even develop unhealthy changes in the cells from which it is made. Problems occur when the sac surrounding the impacted tooth becomes filled with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst. As the cyst grows it may damage the jaw, neighbouring teeth and other surrounding structures. Very rarely, tumours develop from the same tissues that surround an impacted tooth, requiring extensive surgery and reconstruction.

What if wisdom teeth are kept?

If wisdom teeth are kept despite the fact that the dentist or the maxillofacial surgeon advised to remove them, it is important to monitor their health and condition regularly. X-rays and clinical examination should be done in the area every two years. Particular care of brushing and flossing of the area should also be taken into account.

See also in French.

Top ten reasons to remove your wisdom teeth

Wisdom ToothTop 10 reasons to remove wisdom teeth:

10. Because there is limited space for wisdom teeth to erupt and because the surrounding gums are difficult to keep clean. Infection and inflammation are therefore common even when there are no apparent symptoms.

9. Even when wisdom teeth erupt through the gum tissues, they rarely provide any meaningful function and are always difficult to keep clean.

8. Wisdom teeth have high risk of getting cavities on them because they are very hard to clean while brushing and flossing.

7. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth develop cysts, and rarely tumours. Removal of such lesions may require extensive procedures to repair and restore jaw function and appearance.

6. With age, the chance for complications related to the removal of wisdom teeth increases.

5. Gum disease and inflammation associated with wisdom teeth may lead to receding gum tissues, deterioration of the jawbone and tooth loss.

4. Wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of nearby teeth.

3. Even wisdom teeth that seem to be problem-free remain a breeding ground for oral infection and inflammation. Research supports the concept that such inflammation may enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development and/or progression of a variety of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

2. Once it has been determined that a wisdom tooth will not successfully erupt into your mouth and be maintained in a healthy state, early extraction of wisdom teeth is associated with faster and easier recovery.

1. The number one reason for removing wisdom teeth: Peace of mind!

Source: American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

See also in French.

When can someone smoke after tooth extraction?

Following dental extraction, which includes the removal of wisdom teeth, a lot of people who are smokers may ask themselves when can they start smoking again.

After tooth extraction, a blood clot slowly forms in the hole left in the bone by the removed tooth. This blood cloth is the initial phase of the healing process. The blood cloth’s formation can be slowed down when a person smokes, either from the suction done during the smoking action, or from the chemical toxins that come from a cigarette. This can lead to complications such as a dry socket, which is a temporary and very painful condition that occurs when the blood cloth forms slowly.

It is therefore recommended to wait at least 48 to 72 hours before smoking after a dental extraction. Smoking is very bad for someone’s health and stopping completely is mostly recommended.


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