Congratulations if you’ve gotten your wisdom teeth removed. You’ve undergone a surgery most Americans are scared to undertake. Now what? Postoperative care is necessary because if you don’t take care of yourself after surgery, you’ll experience pain from swelling and infection. Follow the instructions your orthodontist gave you. Here’s what the 24-hours after wisdom teeth extraction feels like.
Living with wisdom teeth is a wild ride. From the pain of erupting wisdom teeth, to the fear of surgery and dealing with the resulting pain after surgery, it feels like you’ll never be able to move on. Experiencing pain after any surgery is common, and opening your mouth will cause discomfort. To minimize the pain and discomfort, make sure you take the appropriate amount of medication prescribed by your surgeon. Although you should anticipate a dull pain the first day after surgery, experiencing sharp pains for a whole week isn’t normal. If your pain and swelling worsen after a few days, or if any other unusual symptoms occur, contact your dentist.
Your cheeks will swell after surgery, also known as “chipmunk cheeks.” Minimize swelling by using an ice pack on your cheeks; you can either buy one or make one at home. To make an ice pack, fill up two zipper-lock bags with crushed ice. Press one ice pack on each cheek for 20 minutes at a time. Use the ice pack on and off. After the 20 minutes are up, take a break, then 20 minutes later, do the ice pack treatment all over again. Following this method might annoy you because it’s uncomfortable and repetitive, but it’s better to experience mild discomfort from ice instead of the pain that comes with wisdom teeth removal. Expect to swell for the next 36 hours after surgery.
Expect to ooze blood the day after your surgery, so don’t be scared if blood comes out of your mouth. Oral bleeding consists of a little blood with lots of salivae, so you’ll also uncontrollably drool post-surgery. When your mouth starts to bleed, you’ll need to sit upright and avoid all physical activity; this includes walking. Reduce the bleeding by biting on a piece of gauze for one hour. Another way to minimize bleeding is by biting a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. Teabags contain tannic acid, which helps form a clot by constricting your mouth’s blood vessels.
Avoid chewing foods until your tongue’s sensation and taste buds are restored. Following surgery, avoid popcorn, nuts, seeds, and anything crunchy for the next six weeks. Drink water regularly to prevent dehydration.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a long-winded process, but if you follow your doctor’s orders and take it easy, you’ll successfully recover in no time.
If you don’t notice improvement one week after your surgery, visit your orthodontist. The board-certified orthodontists at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to help you with all your wisdom teeth needs. Schedule your consultation today.