Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure in people aged roughly between 17 to 24. As wisdom teeth grow in later on in life, the mouth doesn’t always have room for them and surgery is often necessary. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling and jaw ulcers. Make your wisdom teeth removal recovery process as fast as possible with these 10 tips.
1. Stock your kitchen
Remember to fill your fridge with soft and easy to eat foods such as apple sauce, soy yogurt, canned fruit and smoothies. Avoid very hot or very cold food as well as food that requires a lot chewing.
2. Leave the gauze alone
Changing your gauze can prevent clotting and delay your recovery time. Leave the gauze on the wound for at least 30 minutes after surgery. After removing the first gauze pad, use fresh gauze to absorb the blood and keep the area clean. Avoid spitting out blood as the change in pressure within your mouth can interfere with clotting.
3. Switch to tea bags
If bleeding continues for over 12 hours, start biting moist tea bags instead of gauze. Tea leaves contain tannin which encourages clotting and can even help circulation. Biting moist tea bags ensures the buildup of clotting platelets and speeds up your healing.
4. Salt water rinse
Salt water minimises pain and encourages healing. A couple of days after your surgery, mix a teaspoon of sea salt with a cup of warm water. Hold the salt water in your mouth before drizzling it into the sink. Be gentle - don’t gargle or spit so as not to loosen the blood clot.
5. Use an icepack
For the first 24 hours after surgery, hold an ice pack to your cheeks to ease pain and decrease swelling. For the next 24-72 hours, the ice can still lessen pain, but it won’t change the swelling. You can later apply a heating pad to your cheeks according to the advice of your dentist. If you try to use an ice pack again, it will restart the swelling.
6. Elevate your head
Whether you’re in bed or lying on the sofa, rest your head on two or more pillows. Elevating your mouth will minimise swelling.
7. Avoid straws
Don’t drink liquids through straws as you could dislodge the blood clot and slow down the healing process.
8. Don’t drink or smoke
These harmful habits can hinder the success of your recovery from wisdom teeth removal.
9. Manage your pain
Pain and swelling can be minimised with either prescribed painkillers or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin as it can inhibit clotting. Rather than waiting for the anaesthesia to wear off, take painkillers with food right after your surgery. If you experience vomiting and nausea, talk to your doctor for an alternative medication.
10. Ask for help
It’s always important to rely on your loved ones during your recovery period. Ask for extra support and let your family and friends take care of making food, household chores and keeping you comfortable.