You and your dentist have decided that it is best to extract your wisdom tooth before it creates problems later on.
You have done your research, and your dentist has informed you about practically every aspect of wisdom teeth removal.
Now, your only concern is how long the recovery will take after you undergo oral surgery.
A timeline for oral surgery recovery
The recovery period for each patient will vary from one person to another and will depend on various factors. But generally speaking, recovery takes about two full weeks on average.
Recovery begins after you leave the dental clinic. During the first 24 hours, blood clots start to form in the area where the wisdom tooth previously was.
For about two to three days, you will see a marked reduction in swelling in the cheeks and mouth. After a week to 10 days, the soreness and stiffness that you feel would have been reduced or is completely gone.
After two weeks, all bruising on your face should be gone.
Take note that these are only general terms. Your own recovery may take longer, depending on factors like infection and blood clotting.
Speeding up recovery
During the recovery phase, the most important thing that you can do is to avoid things that can bring about complications. Remember to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. For your part, there are some things that you can do to speed up your recovery.
After the procedure, avoid eating hot food and drinking hot beverages for about three hours. Consuming such food and drinks can only set back your recovery.
You will also need to switch to a soft diet for a couple of weeks in order to allow the stitches in your mouth to settle and heal.
When chewing food, it is best to avoid the side where oral surgery was performed. Otherwise, you risk dislodging the blood clots from that area. You will need to do this for a few months until the stitches have been removed and you have fully recovered.
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You may be itching to go back to your routine at school or work. However, you have to be patient and give your body ample time to heal itself.
Depending on your individual case and circumstance, you may need to avoid strenuous activities for a few days or a week.
A day after the surgery, you can do some of your daily tasks, except for those that require physical effort.
In order to keep common side effects of oral surgery like swelling, pain, and bleeding at bay, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. Remember to carefully follow your dentist’s instructions when taking these.
At home, you can rinse your mouth with a warm salt solution after each meal. The warm water will help cleanse your mouth and remove food debris in and around the area where your wisdom tooth was previously.
The salt, on the other hand, will kill bacteria and can provide some relief from pain.
However, remember that you cannot rinse your mouth on the day of your procedure. Wait for 24 hours before using a saline solution.
For at least three days after your surgery, you will need to keep your head elevated for about 45 degrees while you are sleeping. This will help facilitate faster healing and recovery and minimize pain.
The reason behind this is that when you lie flat on your bed, blood flow will increase in the area where surgery was performed. In turn, this can lead to an increase in blood pressure in that area, which may cause bleeding and discomfort.
If you need to take a nap after the surgery, make sure that you remove the gauze placed on the socket. This will help you avoid accidentally swallowing the dressing.
Finally, it is a good idea to take your medication before turning in for the night. The pain medicine can help you get uninterrupted sleep for the night.
Call your dentist
If you experience anything out of the ordinary like excessive bleeding or swelling or if you are in pain, call your dentist at once.
But even if you think that your recovery is going well, a follow-up appointment is always a good idea. Your dentist can check if your recovery is going smoothly and identify complications or other problems that you may have missed.