Wisdom teeth removal is a common surgical procedure for young adults and teenagers between the ages of 17 and 23.
The need to remove the wisdom teeth primarily stems from the mouth being too small to accommodate the teeth. In this situation, the teeth may come in at an angle or exert pressure on nearby teeth and tissue. This may cause irritation and pain.
Dentists recommend checking your wisdom teeth before the age of 20. They also should document their progress over time to determine if removal is necessary.
Removing them is a surgical procedure, and there are steps to take after the procedure to minimize discomfort and maximize healing.
Post-operative Wisdom Teeth Removal Care
Since wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure, the gums will be opened up. In order for the site to heal properly, special care must be taken.
Immediately after the procedure, the gauze pad that over the removal sites must remain in place for about a half hour. The gauze protects the tissue while blood clots form. After 30 minutes, discard the gauze.
Don’t vigorously rinse your mouth or touch the operation site, as this could dislodge the blood clot, causing it to take longer to heal.
Pain medications such as ibuprofen can relieve moderate pain. If you are prescribed a stronger pain medication, take it only as directed and avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, and drinking alcohol.
Pain should diminish each day after the surgery, but if it does not, you should revisit your dentist as there may be a problem.
Some bleeding may occur right after surgery, which the gauze pad should help with.
If there is an excessive amount of bleeding, rinse your mouth to clear old blood clots and place a new gauze pad over the surgery site. Bite down on the gauze for thirty minutes to help blood clots form.
If you continue to experience bleeding, moisten a tea bag and bite down on it for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the bag constricts blood vessels, allowing clots to form more quickly.
The amount of surgery received will affect how much swelling you experience.
Swelling will become noticeable the day after surgery and should peak within two or three days after surgery.
You can minimize swelling and the discomfort that comes with it by applying an ice pack to the sides of your mouth.
Continue applying ice packs for up to 36 hours, after which the ice will no longer have a beneficial effect. You can use moist heat to relieve swelling after 36 hours.