Wisdom teeth are your third molars. They are the last teeth to grow, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth usually appear in the mouth in all four corners of the mouth, but they can also grow in other locations. If you had a wisdom-teeth extraction, here is what you need to expect.
Although you’ll be numbed during your procedure, you’ll likely experience some bleeding and discomfort as your mouth heals. You should eat soft foods and avoid drinking through straws. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to avoid developing an infection. If you experience any severe pain or swelling after the procedure, contact your dentist right away.
First, you can expect some swelling following your procedure. To reduce the swelling, try applying an ice pack to your face for 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. For the first day or two, you shouldn’t resume normal activities like eating solid foods or drinking through a straw. You should also avoid rinsing your mouth out with water for at least the first 48 hours after the procedure. For the first couple of days, stick to liquids like soup and smoothies.
Remember that it’s normal to experience minor discomfort after your wisdom teeth removal. You should continue to take your prescribed pain medication as needed. However, if the pain persists for more than a few days, call your dentist to schedule an appointment. He or she will examine you and may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help you feel better. Stitches will likely be removed after about a week. Take care not to dislodge them as you heal.
If your teeth were impacted, you might have experienced a flap of gum tissue and bone that currently covers your tooth roots. Once your gums have healed completely, you’ll return to your dentist to have a tooth socket preservation performed. This fills in the empty space left in your mouth by your extracted teeth and prevents your remaining teeth from shifting into the empty sockets. Some dentists may recommend a regenerative bone procedure to reduce bone loss in your jaw. If you’re worried about the appearance of your smile, talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options like dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge. These options restore the look of your smile and provide support for your facial muscles. Talk to your dentist about which option may be best for you.
Once you’ve finished your appointment, you will receive specific instructions on how to care for your extraction sites. You can take pain medications as prescribed to control any swelling and discomfort you may experience.
It can be tempting to head right to the ice cream aisle after getting your wisdom teeth removed, but wait just a minute! Your body needs time to heal and recover before you can resume your usual diet. We recommend a soft meal for the first two to three days after surgery to make sure that you don’t risk damaging your incision site by biting into anything too hard or crunchy. After that, you can usually start eating solid foods again as long as you don’t experience any pain or swelling.
You shouldn’t smoke for at least two weeks after getting your wisdom teeth removed because smoking can inhibit blood flow to the surgical site and delay healing. You should also stay away from hot drinks and foods, and alcoholic beverages, which can irritate the gum tissue and delay healing.
If you have any questions about what you can and cannot eat after having your teeth removed, you can always give us a call for more information.
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