Wisdom Tooth Surgery Recovery

 

Your dentist may suggest a wisdom tooth removal (or third molar surgery) for various reasons. It could be to prevent further oral complications or to help maintain how well your teeth look. Once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it’s wise to follow all aftercare instructions for your safety and fast recovery.

What to Do After the Surgery

For Swelling

It’s natural to have some swelling after your tooth has been extracted. To help with swelling, apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth. Do it intermittently; for example, you can apply it 20 minutes on, and then 20 minutes off. If the treated area was infected prior to the procedure, your dentist may suggest using warm, moist compresses rather than ice. You should do this within two days to minimize bruising or any discomfort.

For Bleeding

Bleeding will occur after your surgery for up to 24 hours. Try to avoid spitting as it may dislodge the blood clot from the surgery site. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site 30 minutes after the procedure. It is also an option to use a wet tea bag and place it over the treated site for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag will help contract the bleeding vessels that will eventually set the blood clot.

Cleaning Your Mouth

Typically, your dentist will allow you to brush your teeth or use mouthwash 24 hours after your surgery. However, in some cases, patients are permitted to use diluted mouthwash or salt water for mouth cleansing 12 hours after the procedure. Practice care when brushing teeth, especially at the site of extraction. You may also need to avoid doing rigorous exercise, smoking, or spitting for as long as there is bleeding.

Limitations on Food

Eating, drinking, and talking should be limited for at least two hours after the surgery. Once the bleeding stops, you can only drink clear liquids and eat soft food. To avoid dislodging of the treated site, you will be asked to avoid carbonated drinks. You must also refrain from eating foods like popcorn, pasta or peanuts that may leave particles in your socket.

Medications

Your doctor will prescribe medicine that will help you manage pain and prevent infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly as directed. If you take a strong narcotic medication, you must avoid driving or operating machinery as well as drinking alcoholic beverages.

When to Reach out to Your Dentist or Surgeon

Swelling and bleeding at the treated site will improve as the days go by. If you experience or notice unusual changes or no improvement of the extracted site, you may need to call your dentist. Here are some of the symptoms and signs to look out for that suggest you need to see your doctor:

  • Swelling gets worse
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Excessive bleeding despite of applied pressure
  • Throbbing pain 3-4 days after the surgery
  • Consistent bad taste in the mouth that cannot be removed by rinsing
  • Elevated fever
  • Pus in the socket
  • Nasal discharge in the form of pus or blood
  • Persistent numbness

Know More About a Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Our highly trained medical staff will be happy to inform you about a third molar surgery. Schedule a consultation to find out if you need a wisdom tooth surgery, or if you need a professional help after getting one.

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth or third molars often erupt during adulthood. By this time, the mouth has developed a complete set of teeth, and the size of the jaw has stopped growing. It could be the reason why wisdom teeth frequently become problematic. When there is no room in the mouth for another molar, or when the third molar protrudes in an awkward position, it typically results in complications. For this reason, numerous doctors suggest wisdom tooth removal. A third molar surgery is usually performed between the ages of 15 to 20. The situation of your wisdom teeth can be detected with an x-ray. If you don’t feel any pain, but your third molar/wisdom teeth may soon cause a mouth problem, your dentist will recommend removal. There are various reasons why third molar removal is necessary. In this section we will know when the wisdom teeth can be kept or removed.

When Wisdom Tooth Removal Becomes Necessary

The Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Damage to Other Teeth

The new set of growing molars may push the existing teeth, which may cause pain or bite problems. The new wisdom teeth may also damage other existing teeth by pushing against them as they grow. This problem can be prevented by removing wisdom teeth that can potentially damage teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Jaw Damage

Cysts can form around the wisdom teeth. These cysts can hollow out the jaws and damage the nerves.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing a Sinus Problem

An impacted wisdom tooth may cause further sinus problems leading to sinus pain, pressure, as well as congestion.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Inflamed Gums

The location of wisdom teeth may cause the gums to swell and become difficult to clean. This could lead to more complicated issues such as infection.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Cavities

Wisdom teeth can cause the gums to swell. The swollen gums can result in formation of pockets where bacteria grow. Thus, resulting in cavities.

Wisdom Teeth Will Affect or are Affecting the Teeth Alignment

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause overcrowding to the existing set of teeth. The new third molars may push against other teeth, which may affect the original alignment.

When Wisdom Teeth Can Be Kept

  • You have healthy third molars
  • Your wisdom teeth are positioned correctly
  • The third molars do not affect other teeth
  • The third molars are fully erupted
  • The wisdom teeth and surrounding gums can be cleaned easily
  • The wisdom teeth don’t cause pain or swelling

Schedule Your Consultation

Schedule a consultation and let our best surgeons assess your teeth. The only way to find out if your wisdom tooth must be removed is through an X-ray, and then analyzing its results. Get your questions asked during your consultation, our highly trained medical staff will be glad to provide answers. For the healthiest teeth and mouth possible, call Hill Country Oral Surgery today.

Can I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted without Narcotic Pain Medications?!

Opioid treatment for postoperative pain has long been an integral part of treatment following oral surgery.  Although very useful and well tolerated by many people, these medications come with their own issues.  Before recently we did not have a lot of options for those patients who wanted to avoid post-operative opioid medication use.  With the advent of Exparel, a local anesthetic specially formulated to provide pain relief for up to 3 days following the surgery, WE NOW HAVE OPTIONS!

I am often faced with a myriad of situations for which patients would like to minimize the use of post-operative narcotics.  There is the patient who would like to return to work earlier with a clear head, or the student who needs to get back to the books for an exam.  Believe it or not there are those patients for whom narcotic medications do not even work, and some patients who just cannot tolerate the side effects.  If you are one of these patients, then we have an answer for you.

Exparel is administered at the time of surgery along with other traditional local anesthetics, and then the surgery is completed as usual.  The anesthetic has a special structure that prevents it from diffusing away from the surgical site, and allows it to be metabolized slowly over time.  The result is a constant level of anesthesia at the surgical site that lasts days, allowing you to avoid those times when the pain is at its highest level.  For many patients this can allow us to avoid opioids altogether.

Contact us today, for more information on narcotic-free recovery from wisdom tooth extraction and other oral surgery procedures.