Word to the Wise – 7 Tips to Recover from Wisdom Tooth Removal

The best dentists in Royal Palm Beach remove millions of wisdom teeth every year. Wisdom teeth are important parts of our mouths. If they’re so important, how come dentists remove so many of them a year? Well, the truth is that our mouths have changed a lot since human bodies developed wisdom teeth. Today, our mouths are a bit too small to accommodate as many teeth as in the past. In the modern era, when wisdom teeth come out, they sometimes don’t line up properly and push other teeth out of place. If they’re so much trouble, then why do we still have them? Aren’t they important somehow?

The Importance of Wisdom Teeth

As Healthline tells us, at some point between the ages of 17 and 21, most adults develop a third set of molars commonly known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth have been historically important for our diets. Early humans used these teeth to grind up roots and leaves that they ate. Even today, you use your wisdom teeth to crush up fruit and veggies before you swallow them. But your diet has changed a lot since those early days. The change in your diet means that you need your crushing teeth a lot less. You eat a lot more refined foods now that don’t require as many crushing movements to make them digestible. Sadly, the body hasn’t got the memo that it needs to change just yet.

Why Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

The slow adaptation of our jaw muscles means that there are certain situations where our wisdom teeth need to come out. WebMD notes that some people take out wisdom teeth pre-emptively, but this measure isn’t always necessary. There are a series of reasons why you may need to get your wisdom tooth removed, including:

  • Poor Alignment of Teeth: When you have impacted wisdom teeth, they can push all your other teeth out of alignment, trying to find space to fit into your mouth.
  • Cavities: Wisdom teeth can cause pockets to form within your gums, leading to a breeding pool for bacteria that form cavities.
  • Damage to your Jaw: Occasionally, cysts may form around the new teeth, and if left untreated, they can cause lasting damage to the jaw and nerves in your mouth.
  • Sinus Problems: What goes on in your mouth also affects your nasal cavity and wisdom teeth problems can to congestion and sinus pain.

After deciding to remove your wisdom teeth, you still need to pay particular attention to the things to help you have a timely recovery. These tips can help you get back to chewing after your wisdom tooth surgery.

Use Your Pain Medication as Necessary

Pain medication is important to the recovery process. There will be some discomfort after you remove your wisdom tooth. To help you with this, the best dentists in Royal Palm Beach might prescribe some painkillers. You shouldn’t be afraid to use these, but you need to pay attention to the maximum dosage of the medicine. The National Safety Council mentions that as many as sixty people die every day as a result of opioid overdose. If the pain gets unbearable and the painkillers aren’t working, talk to your dentist or schedule an emergency visit.

Use Ice Packs

Making an ice pack (or buying one) might turn out to be a relief after wisdom tooth removal surgery. The US National Library of Medicine mentions that ice packs can reduce discomfort from muscle stress, inflammation, and pain post-surgery. Ideally, you should try to apply the ice pack to the outside of your jaw intermittently. A good regiment is twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off. Try to do this as much as possible during the first 36 hours after surgery.

Don’t Use Alcohol or Tobacco

Smoking and drinking are pretty bad habits, but they are highly addictive. Attempting either after surgery to your wisdom teeth is a recipe for disaster. Colgate states that smoking is likely to constrict blood flow to the wisdom tooth, making it hurt more and slowing recovery time. Taking painkillers along with alcohol is also a bad idea. Additionally, alcohol opens the door to infection, as Advanced Tissue reports.

Open Your Mouth

When you just get finished with your wisdom tooth removal, your mouth will be really sore. You might not feel like opening your mouth much, but you should. The Royal College of Surgeons from the United Kingdom notes that jaw swelling will happen after surgery, and it may take as much as two weeks to go down. During that time, it’s not advisable to force your jaw open before it’s ready. Afterwards, you should exercise your jaw a bit to get rid of that stiffness from your muscles. If you don’t, you might encounter stiffness for quite a while to come.

Keep An Eye on Your Foods

Just after the surgery and up to twenty-four hours after, you should confine your consumption to liquids, but not through a straw. Straws can cause your blood clots to loosen and open up your mouth to infection because of the suction required, leading to a condition called a “dry socket.” Medical News Today states that a dry socket can be horribly painful and might last up to seven days. Once the first twenty-four hours have passed, you can switch to a soft-food diet for the next four to five days. Try to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing (which means you probably can’t have beef jerky just yet).

Be Careful How You Sleep

Rest is one of the most important factors for recovery. Getting a lot of sleep enables your body to go about repairing your tissues quickly and getting you back to proper fitness in record time. Within the first day and a half (approximately 36 hours), try to keep your head elevated at a 45-degree angle. Extended time for rest can help you reduce bleeding and swelling from the location.

Protect the Surgical Area

The hardest (but most significant) action you can take to ensure you heal faster is to leave the surgical area alone after your visit with the best dentists in Royal Palm Beach. When human beings have something that irritates their mouths, their tongues go seeking out the source of discomfort. Prodding and poking the surgical area with your tongue will slow down your recovery a lot. Irritating the tissues will make it harder for your body to repair them. If you want to speed up that recovery time, try rinsing with warm saltwater. Patients who contract infections from their surgery wounds usually do so within the first month after their wisdom tooth removal. The best way to avoid this is to keep your wisdom teeth clear of infection for that period.

Don’t Stop Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

Your teeth will be with you for most of your adult life. Even after you complete recovering from your wisdom teeth removal, proper dental hygiene is a necessity for keeping them strong and healthy. Anderson Dental offers our clients a convenient way to take care of their Royal Palm Beach dental needs without the hassle. Even if you don’t need a wisdom tooth extraction, contact us today, and we’ll schedule your next appointment with the best dentists in Royal Palm Beach you can trust.