Wisdom Teeth extractions
As you well know, summer break, spring break, fall break and winter break are peak times for wisdom teeth removal. Breaks are the perfect time to have wisdom teeth removed so they can have the recovery period needed and can avoid having an emergency with the third molars when school is in session.
What To Expect After Surgery
In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. The following tips will help speed the recovery.
Bite gently on the gauze pad for 20-30 minutes, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding and increase swelling. Prop up your head with pillows.
Use an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, switch to electric heat for the following 2 or 3 days.
Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding. No physical activity for 5-7 days.
Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
Do not use a straw, spit or smoke for the first 5-7 days. This can loosen the blood clot and delay healing and cause dry sockets
After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass [8 fl oz (240 mL)] of warm water.
Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. Also, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area.
- Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
What is a Dry Socket?
Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that can occur after you have a permanent adult tooth extracted. Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. If you develop dry socket, the pain usually begins three to four days after your tooth is removed.
Normally, a blood clot forms at the site of a tooth extraction. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissue over the clot.
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction has been dislodged or has dissolved before the wound has healed. Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain.