Although wisdom tooth extraction may be best left until the offseason, this option isn’t always practical.
Patients who play amateur or professional sports frequently ask us how soon they can return to their normal athletic activities after an extraction.
Although the procedure is fairly routine in most cases, proper care and rest are essential for a complication-free recovery, and that means a brief period of rest and a healthy dose of self-care.
Avoid Physical Activity for 48 Hours
The first 48 hours after wisdom tooth extraction is when the discomfort will be most severe. It is also the time during which the critical first stages of healing begin.
Oral surgeons recommend that patients spend this time resting and avoiding physical activity. This means no strenuous work or exercise, no bending or heavy lifting, and of course, no sports.
Even simple tooth extractions require time to heal without being disturbed, and any physical activity can interfere with healing. Exertion also can lead to bleeding from the extraction site.
Patients who do not allow for proper healing before getting back on the playing field may have problems with forming blood clots at the extraction site. These are necessary to protect and seal the tooth extraction sites, and to facilitate healing.
A Gradual Return to Sports
So, does this mean 48 hours after tooth extraction, you are cleared to play sports? Not exactly.
Since you’ve taken a few days off, it isn’t wise to go straight back to your normal level of sports participation. Doctors suggest that you return to cardiovascular exercise gradually, over the course of at least a few days.
Your body will continue the healing process for several weeks, and during this time, you should stay away from any contact sports where you may get hit in the face or mouth.
The best way to know when you are ready to return to the game is to pay attention to how your mouth feels. Throbbing, increased pain, and bleeding during or after exercise are signs that you need to tone it down or sit out for a while longer.
Factors that Affect Healing Time
Some people recover from tooth extraction in a few days, but for others, the healing process may take several weeks.
Recovery time is usually longer for patients whose wisdom teeth were impacted or in poor condition, as these factors make the procedure a more complicated process. Patients who have all four wisdom teeth removed at once also will take longer to heal than those who have fewer teeth extracted.
In addition, infection and other complications are possible, which could affect how soon you can resume normal physical activity.
Contact Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah today to schedule your consultation with our expert team. Our doctors can discuss your options and help you choose the best time to plan your wisdom tooth extraction.