Post-Op Care: Wisdom Tooth Extractions
The third set of molar teeth that grow at the back of the mouth are more popularly known as wisdom teeth.
They are a set of permanent teeth that start to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. The sign of wisdom teeth is associated with “intelligence” and “knowledge” because they appear as you grow old and mature in age.
More often than not, these teeth come with a lot of pain, lead to overcrowding of teeth and dental decay.
In such painful instances, your dentist might recommend you to have a surgical procedure to remove the extra set of unwanted teeth that might become a hindrance to your overall health and comfort.
Surgical intervention is needed to safely extract the wisdom tooth followed by a strict post-op protocol to ensure that the treatment is successful and pain-free in the long term.
Control the Bleeding
Slight bleeding and redness in saliva is expected after wisdom tooth surgery. Put direct pressure on the surgical area and change the gauze pad from the inside of your mouth after every hour, depending on the amount of bleeding.
The blood should clot naturally and stop the bleeding completely in a few hours. If the bleeding does not stop and blood continues to ooze out in excessive amounts, contact your dentist right away.
Swelling of the mouth, eyes, cheeks, and face is not uncommon. You might also notice slight discoloration and bruising on the face near the surgical site.
It is your body’s natural reaction to surgery and the bruising will slowly fade as the area heals in a week’s time.
It will take up to 3 days for the swelling to go down completely. You can minimize it by using cold ice packs compression directly on the jaw.
Get Rid Of Nausea and Vomiting
You might experience nausea after surgery due to the IV sedation and general anesthesia. Don’t eat any solid food or swallow any medications.
Sip some ginger ale or green tea to help with nausea and vomiting. It should subside within the hour. You can resume your medications after the sickness passes.
Take Your Meds Diligently
Pain medications will be your best friend the entire recuperation period post surgery. You will most likely experience sharp pains in your jaw for at least a week.
Take the painkillers prescribed by your dental surgeon so that you can control the pain, bleeding and general discomfort that comes with dental surgery.
Don’t forget to keep up with your water intake as your mouth is likely to feel dry after surgery. Be cautious to not chew from the operated side. You will not be able to have solid food for a day at least, so have lots of juices and pureed fruits and vegetables to keep your energy levels up.
Practice Oral Hygiene
Keep your mouth clean and practice good oral habits to keep your teeth healthy. However, don’t brush your teeth aggressively and aggravate the bleeding post-surgery.
Avoid brushing your teeth for a day at least. Rinse your mouth with water and an antiseptic mouthwash before sleeping.
Exercise Your Jaw
It is normal for your jaw to feel stiff and locked in place after surgery. Don’t try to speed your recovery by trying to move your jaw too often.
Take frequent rest and exercise your jaw each day by slowly opening and closing your jaw for a couple of minutes. It will take up to 7 days for your jaw to fully heal. Exercise your jaw as much as you can during this crucial time period.
If the discomfort and pain doesn’t ease within a couple of weeks, go for an emergency follow-up with your dental surgeon. Follow their instructions and keep up with the post-op checkups.
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