When wisdom teeth become impacted, extracting those teeth is the best solution. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge in the very back of your mouth. They were once necessary for our ancestors’ diet of raw plants and meat. However, today, humans have evolved, and so has our diet. Wisdom teeth often do not fit properly in our present-day jaws which are smaller than that of humans in early times. Without enough room to comfortably fit, impaction often occurs.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom tooth extraction prevents crowding of the teeth, red, swollen, or painful gums caused by a partially erupted wisdom tooth, and gum disease and tooth decay.
Depending on the extraction complexity, you may receive local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia to eliminate discomfort while the teeth are removed. It’s usually an in-office procedure, and the type of anesthesia that's best will be decided before the procedure takes place.
Once you’ve been anesthetized, the gum tissue at the extraction site will be opened if the tooth is impacted, and the tooth removed gently. After extraction, your dental team will stitch the site to promote healing.
How Long Does It Take to Heal After the Procedure?
Healing from the extraction usually only takes a few days. If your wisdom teeth are badly impacted, it could take up to a week for full recovery. During this time, it's essential to rest and take any prescribed pain medication.
You may experience some bleeding at the extraction site. Elevating your head when resting can help to alleviate this.
It’s also helpful to hold an ice pack on your cheek outside of the extraction site for a few minutes on the first day following the procedure.
On the second day, a warm heat, such as a warm washcloth, placed on your cheek can help.
Another good idea to help eliminate any discomfort is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times each day. Your dental team will provide guidelines to follow to assist with healing, including the best foods to eat following the extraction.
Eating Following Wisdom Teeth Extraction
In general, it’s best to eat soft foods and liquids for at least a few days following your wisdom teeth extraction. Some good suggestions include:
- Ice cream and yogurt
- Soft scrambled eggs
- Very hot foods that can disrupt the healing blood clots over the extraction site
- Foods that require a great deal of chewing
- Do not consume alcohol which interferes with healing
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
- Avoid using a straw which can also injure the extraction site
- Avoid any strenuous activity or exercise
Be aware of the possibility for any infection, and be sure to reach out to your dentist if you experience any swelling, fever, or increased bleeding as you recover.
You can resume normal, daily activities the day after your wisdom teeth extraction, but remember to avoid any activity that could dislodge either your stitches or the blood clot over your extraction site.
Do You Want to Learn More About Wisdom Teeth Removal?
If you’re ready to learn more about wisdom teeth removal at Oral and Facial Surgery Centers of Massachusetts, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today!