February 11, 2024
Wisdom teeth are four permanent teeth found at the top and bottom in the corners of the mouth. Impacted, infected, or poorly directed wisdom teeth may have to be extracted.
It is a common surgical procedure. You need to know how to speed up wisdom teeth healing. Many people are concerned about the recovery process after wisdom tooth extraction as they want to avoid postoperative complications and discomfort.
Several internal and external factors influence each person’s experience with wisdom teeth extraction and recovery. This post will discuss these factors, including expected recovery times, potential complications, home remedies, aftercare to speed up recovery, etc. We hope the insights provided here help you with faster recovery.
Day-by-day wisdom teeth recovery timeline
Looking to deal with wisdom tooth woes? You are not alone. These wisdom teeth served our ancestors but didn’t play an important role for us modern humans.
They can cause problems during eruption, like pain and inflammation, overcrowding, impaction, infection, and difficulty in cleaning. This is when we are advised to get them extracted.
Modern-day wisdom tooth surgery puts the patient at ease with suitable numbing and anesthetic agents. An incision is made to access and remove the tooth using specialized instruments. This incision is closed with stitches. Dentists aim for fast recovery and minimal discomfort.
A simple or non-surgical wisdom tooth extraction can be done by pulling the tooth out under anesthesia when it is visible and easy to reach.
The stages of healing after wisdom tooth removal are:
- Stage 1 lasts for 24 hours. This is when the clot forms. A gauze is given to bite on to stop bleeding.
- Stage 2, the next 48 hours, is when maximum recovery happens. Swelling and pain will reduce significantly. The worst pain day after wisdom tooth extraction for some people may be the second or third day as swelling may be maximum.
- Stage 3 starts after three days when the extraction site is slightly sore. But pain, swelling, and bleeding are no longer there.
- Stage 4 lasts one to two weeks after extraction with a fully developed blood clot and a healed socket. This stage requires being careful as the healing tissue is still delicate.
- Stage 5 is after three weeks, and healing should be complete by now. Oral hygiene with gentle attention to the extraction site is needed now.
Factors influencing recovery
The above stages are a general idea as various factors determine healing and recovery. Most discomfort goes away, and healing occurs between 7 and 10 days. Complete recovery after wisdom teeth extraction takes a few weeks to months.
The following factors determine day-by-day wisdom teeth recovery after extraction:
- Age- Young patients have less dense bone, so the extraction is less complicated. Healing is also faster at a young age.
- Health status- A patient’s general well-being is important, as a healthy person has a better immune response, leading to faster recovery. On the contrary, people with chronic diseases like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or immune deficiencies recover slowly. Some medicines can also impact recovery.
- Type of extraction- Simple dental extraction without an incision shows faster healing than surgical extraction. The more complex the procedure, the more tissue damage there is. This also slows the recovery.
- Inherent healing response- Some people have less swelling, better tolerance to pain, and less inflammation. There are natural variations impacting recovery after dental procedures.
Also Read: – Process of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Foods to eat after wisdom teeth removal
Eat soft foods or pureed foods at room or cold temperatures, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, custard, pureed lentils, and scrambled eggs, as these will not irritate the wound. You won’t have to chew these foods, so there won’t be pressure on the extraction site.
Protein shakes, smoothies, milkshakes, and fresh juices can provide hydration and nutrition while being easy to consume. Don’t use a straw.
Lukewarm or preferably room temperature soups, broths, cooked fruits, and vegetables can also provide satiety and nutrition and satisfy taste buds. Examples are mashed bananas, stewed apples, tomato soup, etc.
Avoid these foods for faster healing after wisdom teeth removal.
Avoid anything that can irritate, hurt, pressure, or scrape the extraction site.
Therefore, you must avoid hard and crunchy foods, including uncooked or lightly cooked vegetables, fruits, chips, etc. Spicy foods are avoided as they can increase inflammation and irritation.
Hot foods and beverages can cause the clot to dissolve or dislodge. They may also irritate the sore tissue.
Alcoholic beverages and smoking can irritate as well as interfere with healing.
How do home remedies speed up wisdom teeth recovery?
Certain home remedies are useful for relief after wisdom teeth extraction.
It is better to consult your dentist before trying home remedies, especially if you have chronic health issues or a complex case.
Here are the home remedies after wisdom teeth extraction:
- Always follow the instructions given for aftercare.
- As this is a surgical procedure, you should rest immediately afterward.
- Avoid strenuous activities for a few days. Keep yourself well hydrated to help heal and keep the oral cavity moist.
- Apply a cold compress on the outside to reduce swelling and pain.
- Do not remove the gauze for a few hours on the first day after wisdom tooth extraction. Change it frequently as advised after that.
- Maintain oral hygiene to speed up healing after wisdom tooth extraction. This also prevents infection of the extraction site. Brush teeth gently, only after 24 hours, as told by the dentist, avoiding the extraction site.
- You can gently rinse your mouth with salt water after 24 hours have passed following extraction.
- Take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines as prescribed by your dentist after tooth extraction.
- Drink or eat only cold or normal-temperature drinks and soft foods.
- Avoid hot foods and drinks, spicy foods and beverages, or anything that can irritate the site or pressure the healing wound.
- Avoid sleeping on that side.
- Don’t rinse the mouth vigorously; don’t use a straw for a few days as the clot (formed at the extraction site, which prevents bleeding and fastens healing) can get dislodged.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol as these can affect the healing time. They can also play a role in postoperative complications.
- Avoid physical activities which can lead to a direct impact on the site of tooth extraction.
Also Read: – When Can You Use a Straw After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Avoiding complications after wisdom teeth removal- find all the information here
Complications after wisdom teeth extraction to watch out for:
- A dry socket is the most common issue after tooth extraction. It occurs due to the clot getting dislodged or when the clot dissolves before the wound at the extraction site has healed. This can cause intense pain and can delay healing. If you think you have a dry socket or have severe pain that is not getting better with over-the-counter painkillers, reach out to your dentist.
- Infection is a potential complication after any invasive dental procedure like a wisdom tooth extraction. Signs include discharge from the site, severe pain, swelling, fever, bad taste in mouth, malaise, etc. You should contact your dentist if you notice any such signs.
- With any invasive dental procedure, there will be minor swelling and pain. However, your dentist should look at any significant bleeding and increasing swelling that does not improve over time.
- Nerve damage is a rare complication when the nerve is close to the tooth being extracted. See only an experienced dentist for wisdom teeth extraction, which is very important.
- Our dentists at Kirkland Premier Dentistry are equipped to handle complex cases.
With nerve damage, you can have numbness or tingling in the lip, tongue, or chin, and you should immediately see your dentist.
Few things you can do to avoid complications after wisdom teeth removal
- Eat cold foods more often during the early stages of healing as they help to contract the blood vessels, which leads to rapid clot formation.
- Don’t touch the extraction site with your lips or fingers.
- Keep and change the gauze as instructed.
- Don’t brush or rinse for at least 24 hours after tooth extraction. Brush and rinse gently afterward, and avoid the extraction site when brushing.
- Don’t use a straw for a few days, as you wouldn’t want to dislodge the clot.
- Rest well and hydrate in the early stages.
- Gargle gently with salt water 24-48 hours after every meal (as instructed by the dentist) because it prevents bacterial growth and reduces swelling.
- Take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines on time as advised.
- Eat only soft foods for a few days.
- Don’t miss your follow-up checkups.
Following all the tips and dos and don’ts mentioned here will help you manage pain and swelling after wisdom teeth extraction and with faster recovery.
At Kirkland Premier Dentistry, our dentists are best equipped to extract wisdom teeth with a rapid recovery. Learning how to care for yourself after getting wisdom teeth removed is important.
Experienced dentists help you avoid complications, and you don’t experience any discomfort. We are committed to providing you with a smooth, comfortable experience and recovery. Reach out to us for queries and guidance.