Wisdom Teeth Removal: Recovery

May 27, 2021

Your wisdom teeth are the back molars that typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 21. These are your last adult teeth that will emerge in your mouth, but many people do not have enough room in their mouth to accommodate these teeth without their other teeth experiencing shifting.

If this is an issue that you experience, you will likely need surgery to remove your wisdom teeth. This is a common procedure that can take about a week to recover from. It may take longer to recover if you have impacted wisdom teeth that haven’t emerged from below your gums.

When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, Wexford patients and those in the surrounding areas can rely on Bamonte Oral Surgery for all of their needs. We’ve put together some tips and important information to help your wisdom teeth removal experience go smoothly.

Wisdom Teeth Surgery Day

Wisdom teeth extraction is performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will have your surgery and leave the facility to return home the same day. For those who receive local anesthesia or sedation for surgery, you will wake up in the dental chair where the surgery was performed. If your oral surgeon uses general anesthesia, you will wake up in a recovery room since it will take longer for you to wake up.

When you wake up, you will slowly regain the feeling in your mouth and may experience some pain and swelling as well as a bit of blood in your mouth during the first day of recovery. Ice packs held on the face can help alleviate the swelling, and you will also be instructed on how and when to take your prescribed medications.

Your oral surgeon will send you home after you have woken up and you feel ready to leave. It is recommended that you have a friend or family member drive you home, especially if you’ve been given general anesthesia since you won’t be able to drive for a long period of time.

Recovery Week for Wisdom Teeth Surgery

Soft foods are recommended after surgery. It is crucial to avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine, as well as drinking from a straw which can cause complications. Most patients recover from wisdom teeth extraction within three or four days. Patients who had impacted teeth or wisdom teeth that came in at an angle can take at least a full week to recover.

You need to keep in mind that the wound left behind from surgery will take months to completely heal, so infection will remain a possibility. Be sure to pay attention to your wounds and take the proper steps to encourage healing.

The day after your wisdom teeth surgery, you will be able to resume your normal activities, but there are things you need to avoid because they could dislodge a blood clot over your wound or could pull out stitches. Avoid activities such as spitting, smoking, drinking from a straw, and rigorous exercise.

While pain, swelling, and bleeding are normal, be sure to contact your dentist immediately if you have excessive bleeding or unbearable pain. Symptoms should be dissipating after the third day of recovery, with all pain and bleeding gone by the end of your recovery week.

Recovery Complications to Look Out For

In some cases, patients may experience complications that could be a sign of nerve damage or infection. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist immediately:

  • Fever
  • Issues breathing or swallowing.
  • Numbness
  • Bleeding that won’t stop even with gauze and pressure.
  • Medication is not dulling the pain.
  • Pus or blood coming from your nose.

How to Care for Your Mouth Post-Surgery

You will be provided with instructions on caring for your mouth post-surgery. Following these instructions is crucial to protecting your mouth from infection and other complications. You will be instructed to rinse your mouth with salt water to keep your wounds clean. Rather than spitting out the saltwater solution, you will need to tip your mouth of the sink and allow the water to flow out. If there is excess blood coming from the wound, you can gently dab it with clean gauze.

Within a day or two after surgery, you can resume your normal activities, but you need to be careful not to pull out any stitches or dislodge the blood clot over your wound. This blood clot protects your wound, and if it becomes dislodged, it can lead to a condition called a dry socket. You will want to avoid:

  • Spitting
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous activity that could dislodge your blood clots or stitches.
  • You will also need to manage your pain at home using ice packs and taking your prescribed pain medication. Your oral surgeon can instruct you on how often to use an ice pack on your face and how to take your prescription or over-the-counter pain medications. You may be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent any infection.

What to Eat During Recovery

As mentioned earlier in the article, soft foods are ideal for the first few days of recovery because they don’t require a lot of chewing, and they won’t cause dislodging of blood clots or stitches. You will want to start out with foods such as pudding, soup, cottage cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, and mashed potatoes.

When you are eating, be sure the food has cooled down enough before eating to avoid burning your incision site. You also want to avoid nuts, seeds, or smaller foods that could get stuck in your wound. As mentioned before, avoid drinking from a straw or slurping too hard from a spoon while eating.

Ready to Schedule Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

At Bamonte Oral Surgery, you can rely on our experienced team to provide you with a comfortable experience from start to finish. If you have any questions about this procedure or if you are ready to schedule your appointment, contact us today!

Dr. John Bamonte
Dr. John Bamonte Headshot
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Dr. John A. Bamonte, a native of the Pittsburgh area, is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and finished in the top 10 of his class in 1984 with the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine. Through 1985, Dr. Bamonte practiced general dentistry with his father in Natrona Heights and concurrently earned a Master of Science degree in Anatomy/Histology at the University of Pittsburgh.