Wisdom teeth extraction recovery
In today’s times, very seldom is there a place for wisdom teeth – literally.
With the way our mouths have evolved over time, very few people have space to house their wisdom teeth in their mouths. Due to the lack of space, they may not fully erupt, grow in the wrong direction and affect nearby teeth. For these reasons, many dentists recommend simply removing these little guys and saving yourself a great deal of trouble.
And by following our tips, recovery following their removal should be no trouble either!
Prevent dry socket
You may have heard of the infamous dry socket before. This is where the blood clot near the extraction site is somehow dislodged, exposing the bone. Once you have had your wisdom teeth extracted, your body will form a blood clot over the area which will protect the bone and tissue underneath. If, however, it becomes dislodged and the bone is exposed, you will likely experience a great deal of pain. Your dentist will explain the various causes of a dry socket to you and it is imperative that you follow the preventative instructions that will be given to you.
Keep your head elevated
For a total of about three days following your procedure, you should aim to keep your head elevated – even when you sleep. You can do this by simply propping your head up on a few pillows so that your body is close to a 45-degree angle. The reason for keeping your head elevated is that blood vessel tone and blood volume near the wound increase when you’re lying flat, which can make the wound throb. Elevating the head can help you to feel a lot more comfortable as well as aid in reducing your swelling.
Simple and yet effective. Applying ice to the area of the cheek closest to the extraction site cam help to reduce inflammation and have a numbing effect which is great if you are experiencing some discomfort. Wrap the ice in a cloth to protect from ice burns, and only ice the area for about 20 minutes at a time.
Avoid dry mouth
Mouth breathers, this one is for you! After your wisdom teeth have been extracted, you should try your best to avoid breathing through your mouth during your recovery. This can dry out your mouth and can disrupt the pH balance – this can allow cavity-causing bacteria to multiply and increase your chance of infection.
Massage your masseter muscle on both sides of your mouth
During wisdom tooth surgery, your mouth will be held wide open for an extended period of time. This can lead to myofascial pain and cramped or sore muscles. The masseter muscle is one of the muscles in your jaw area that helps you to chew. This is muscle is prone to soreness. Massaging this area post-surgery will help you recover faster because it releases some of the unnecessary tension that your jaw may be holding. To find this muscle and know where to massage, place your fingers just before the opening of each ear. Massage gently for a few minutes at a time.
Finally, you should remain vigilant for up to six weeks following your surgery. Continue to prevent food debris and bacteria from collecting near your surgical wounds and keep your mouth clean!
If you are at all unsure of what to do during your recovery process, simply ask the dentist!