Every year, approximately five million people in the United States have their wisdom teeth removed. This is because a large percentage of people don’t have enough room in their mouth for them to erupt properly, so they can cause issues. While no extraction is a pleasant experience, when you follow your dentist’s instructions, you will have a much easier time bouncing back. Continue reading to learn more about how long it takes to recover from a wisdom tooth removal and what you can do to help the process go smoothly.
How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Recovery Take?
It can take up to two weeks for you to completely recover from your wisdom tooth extraction. Over the first 24 hours, blood clots will form, and the healing process begins. For the next two to three days, you can expect inflammation in the mouth to improve. By the second week, stiffness, soreness, and mild bruising should fade away. At this time, patients can typically resume their daily life as normal.
Tips for a Smooth Wisdom Tooth Recovery
Here are a few tips to help your mouth to recover in a timely manner:
- Bite Down on Gauze: Your dentist is likely to ask you to bite down on a gauze pad in order to slow down and stop the bleeding in the extraction sight. This helps to form blood clots faster so you can begin the recovery process.
- Use a Cold Compress: Using ice on the cheek can help to ease the bruising and swelling that could follow your surgery. Apply ice to the side of the extraction site for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Take Pain Medication: Take pain medication as your dentist instructs. You may also need to take antibiotics to prevent infections from occurring during the healing process.
- Eat Soft Foods: Sticking to a soft, nutritious diet is key after you get your wisdom teeth removed. This will allow for your body to heal faster. Great options are soups, broth, mashed veggies, avocados, and Jell-O.
- Keep Your Smile Clean: Be very gentle when brushing your teeth and around the area where your tooth was extracted. Instead, use warm salt water to rinse your mouth after meals.
- Get Plenty of Rest: Your body will heal faster if you get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
You may not be looking forward to your wisdom tooth extraction, but by following the tips above, recovery will be a breeze.
About the Author
Dr. Jane Reeves is an experienced dentist who has been working in the dental field for more than three decades. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. To learn more about wisdom tooth extractions or to schedule an appointment at her office in Deer Park, visit her website or call (281) 479-2841.