Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that many people undergo at some point in their lives. While it is usually a routine and safe surgery, it can still be a bit daunting for those who are preparing for it. Here we will discuss what to expect from the healing process, both immediately after the surgery and in the days afterward. We’ll also provide some tips on how to speed up your recovery and make sure you’re back on your feet as soon as possible.
Timeline for Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction
One of the most common questions we get asked is how long the recovery process will take after wisdom tooth extraction. While every patient is different, this general timeline can provide guidance.
- First 24 hours: The first day after your surgery, blood clots will form in the empty sockets where your wisdom teeth used to be.
- 2 to 3 days post-surgery: The swelling in your cheeks will peak around this time and then start to go down.
- One week after surgery: The stitches will begin to dissolve. The holes left by your wisdom teeth should also start to close up on their own.
- After 7 to 10 days: Stiffness/soreness in jaw will subside.
- 2 weeks: Minor facial bruising will heal.
It’s important to keep in mind that these are only general guidelines — some people may heal more quickly while others may take a bit longer. It’s also essential to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.
5 Tips To Help With Healing After Wisdom Tooth Removal
There are a few things you can do to help your healing process along after wisdom tooth removal:
1. Avoid Dry Socket
Dry socket is a common complication after wisdom tooth extraction. It occurs when the blood clot that forms in the empty socket dissolves or is dislodged, exposing the bone beneath. This can cause significant pain and prolong healing time. To avoid dry socket, be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-operative care, including:
- Moisten gauze pads before placing them on the extraction site.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
- Avoid sucking on straws.
- Eat soft foods.
- Take antibiotics as prescribed.
- Do not spit.
2. Manage Swelling
Swelling is a normal part of the healing process after wisdom tooth extraction. To help manage it, apply ice packs to your face for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication if recommended by your dentist or oral surgeon.
3. Swish Gently With Warm Salt Water
Starting 24-48 hours after surgery, you can begin using a saltwater rinse to keep the extraction site clean. To make the rinse, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and stir until dissolved. Very gently swish the rinse in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then open your mouth over the sink and let the water fall out. DO NOT SPIT. Repeat as needed.
4. Exercise Your Jaw
After wisdom tooth extraction, it’s common to feel like your jaw is stiff and sore. To help reduce this, try opening and closing your mouth slowly several times a day. You can also massage the muscles around your jaw to help reduce soreness.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Finally, be sure to get plenty of rest. This will help your body heal and give you the energy you need to get through the day. Try to avoid strenuous activity and take it easy for at least a week after your surgery.
When Can I Return to Normal Activities After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
While the recovery process can vary from person to person, most people are able to return to work 2 to 3 days after surgery, and most other normal activities within a week or two. Of course, it’s important to listen to your body and take things slowly at first. If you’re feeling pain or discomfort, be sure to take it easy and give yourself time to heal.
Think It’s Time to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you’re considering wisdom tooth removal in San Marcos, TX, contact The Dental Space at 512-667-9770 to schedule an appointment. Our state-of-the-art office is equipped with the latest in dental technology, along with a complimentary arcade in the lobby and flat screen TVs in all treatment rooms!
We serve patients from surrounding areas, including Redwood, Maxwell, Wimberley, Kyle, New Braunfels and Reedville, and we’re happy to accept Medicaid and CHIP, as well as most PPO plans.