Wisdom teeth are also known as the back molars. It is common for the jaw to be too small to accommodate them. If your wisdom teeth are not causing you any pain, you may not see the point of removing them. It is true that removing wisdom teeth is not always necessary. However, your dentist may have reasons to recommend extraction even when you are not experiencing symptoms.
The dentist may see the potential for serious problems to develop, and removing the wisdom teeth now may prevent these issues from ever arising. The more time that passes, the more difficult it may be to remove the wisdom teeth. For these reasons, sometimes an extraction is performed as a preventative measure.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Aftercare
The surgery to remove wisdom teeth is a routine procedure, and most people recover within a matter of weeks, if not days. However, wisdom teeth removal recovery and wisdom teeth removal aftercare can involve discomfort and other symptoms, particularly at first. Also, it is important to take precautions to prevent unintentional damage to your mouth while you heal completely.
Food and Drink
Immediately after surgery, you may not have a very good appetite. This is normal and expected. However, it is important for you to stay hydrated even during the early recovery period. You will gradually regain your appetite, and this is good because your wisdom teeth removal aftercare also depends on you getting the proper nutrition.
However, you cannot immediately go back to your old eating habits. Your oral surgeon will give you specific instructions on what foods to avoid. Generally speaking, however, you should avoid any foods that could become stuck in the holes left behind by your wisdom teeth, such as seeds or nuts. To avoid burns to the surgery site, you should also avoid any foods that are too hot. Additionally, you should also avoid any activities that could dislodge your stitches by putting pressure on them. Drinking from a straw is one example.
Your oral surgeon will probably recommend that you stick to eating very soft foods after your surgery:
- Apple sauce
- Cottage cheese
Additional options include smoothies, mashed potatoes, or soup. However, remember not to drink your smoothies with a draw and let your potatoes or soup cool sufficiently before eating.
Medication and Pain Management
After surgery, there is always a risk of developing an infection. To guard against this, your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics during your recovery. If so, be sure that you take them as instructed and complete the entire course. Otherwise, disease-causing bacteria could build up an immunity to the antibiotics, making future infections harder to treat.
Your surgeon may also have you take medications for pain. These may be over-the-counter, or the doctor may prescribe them. An ice pack is another pain control method that is usually effective. However, you should wrap this in a cloth or towel before applying it. There is a risk of developing a painful condition called ice burn if you apply the ice pack directly to your skin.
Avoidance of Complications
Apart from infection, another possible complication of wisdom tooth extraction is a dry socket. Once the surgical sites are closed, blood from the incision will form into a scab that protects the wound while it heals. Dry socket occurs when something dislodges the scab. You can avoid this by avoiding spitting or drinking through a straw. You can use a spoon to eat your soft foods, but be careful not to slurp too hard as this could also lead to a dry socket. You should also refrain from smoking or strenuous exercise immediately following surgery. You can return to the latter when your doctor says it is okay, but permanent smoking cessation would be better for your overall health.
If you follow your surgeon’s instructions following the procedure, you are unlikely to experience any complications.
Know What To Expect
One of the surgeons at Summit OMS can assess your situation and provide more detailed information on wisdom tooth extraction and your subsequent recovery. Contact us for an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Warren, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Rochester Hills or Washington, Michigan.