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How to Recover From a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If you have an upcoming appointment for a wisdom tooth extraction, it is helpful to understand what to expect. The more you know about the process, the more at ease you can feel about it. Recovering from the surgery is not always easy, but you can manage the pain and discomfort if you follow some basic tips.
Why people choose to have a wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth are situated in the back of the mouth and typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, up to several years after other permanent teeth. Unlike other teeth, many people do not want wisdom teeth in their mouth and choose to have an oral surgeon remove them. Often, wisdom teeth come in at the incorrect angle, causing them to press against other molars. There may not be room in the person’s mouth for these teeth. They could also become trapped in the jawbone.
When people choose the extraction surgery
A dentist may recommend that the patient get a wisdom tooth extraction and will likely refer the person to an oral surgeon. Some patients may have the teeth removed after they have come through. However, it is common for oral surgeons to extract them beforehand. This typically occurs during the late teenage years.
Have a helper
If the oral surgeon uses general anesthesia to put the patient asleep for the surgery, the person will need assistance getting home and recovering. These patients should never drive themselves home from the surgery and should not return to work and other activities until the oral surgeon gives clearance.
The first three days after surgery are critical to the person’s recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction. The patient should get plenty of rest and use an ice pack. A heat pack may also be effective to heal a sore jaw. The recovering patient should eat soft foods during this period and may want to gently exercise the mouth by slowly opening and closing it. Pain medication can help reduce irritation and discomfort.
What to avoid
The patient should be careful about eating certain foods. Hard or sticky foods can irritate the wound and cause pain. Sucking through a straw can also open a blood clot. Strenuous activities are not recommended in the three days after the surgery. Also, if the patient wants to rinse the mouth, it should be done gently and with saltwater.
Call if necessary
If pain persists beyond a week, the patient should call the oral surgeon. Also, if there is persistent bleeding, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. The oral surgeon should follow up with the patient in the weeks after the surgery.
You can get through it
Though wisdom tooth extraction is not easy, you can recover and enjoy the benefits of the surgery. Your oral surgeon has the knowledge and training to successfully remove these teeth and provide more room in your mouth for your other teeth. If you believe it is time to take out these molars, call your dentist or an oral surgeon today.
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